A bill up for consideration in the Mississippi Senate would prohibit the state from assisting the federal government in the indefinite detention without due process under provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), or any other federal acts purporting to authorize such powers.

Introduced by Sen. Angela Hill and Sen. Michael Watson  SB2698 prohibits any state agency or employee, including those making up city or county governments, from providing any assistance to federal agents attempting to detain any person within the borders of Mississippi.

…no agency or employee of the State of Mississippi, including all political subdivisions of this state, acting in their official capacity, and no member of the Mississippi National Guard on official state duty shall knowingly aid an agency, agent or employee of the government of the United States, or any corporation providing services to the government of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, detention or transfer to a foreign jurisdiction of a person within Mississippi pursuant to Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2012, or the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40), enacted in 2001, or any other provision of federal law which purports to authorize the indefinite detention, military tribunal or transfer to a foreign jurisdiction of a person within Mississippi.

This would not only prohibit state and local law enforcement agents from assisting in indefinite detention, but would also bar the feds from using state resources such as jails or prisons.

Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA purport to empower the federal government to essentially kidnap people within the United States and hold them indefinitely without trial, or even formal charges. While SB2698 would not physically stop federal agents from detaining people in Mississippi, it would deny the federal government state manpower and resources. Since the feds always depend on state and their resouces to assist in with their actions, this bill would likely hinder any attempts at indefinite detention in Mississippi.

This same strategy applied by northern states effectively nullified fugitive slave rendition in the years leading up to the Civil War.

SB2698 cites the Tenth Amendment and asserts it authorizes the United States federal government to exercise “only those powers specifically delegated to it in the United States Constitution.” It also declares the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes a federal law supreme “only if those laws are adopted in accordance with the powers delegated to the federal government in the United States Constitution.”

The bill rejects sections of the NDAA that include indefinite detention without trial, as being “inimical to the liberty, security, and well-being of the people of the State of Mississippi by violating” the Mississippi Constitution, the limits of federal power delegated to the federal government in the United States Constitution, as well as the legal doctrine of posse comitatus under Section 1385 of Title 18 of the United States Code by authorizing the Armed Forces of the United States to police the United States.

The bill also goes beyond the NDAA detention provisions and covers any future law that might seek to authorize indefinite detention.

SB2698 has been referred to the Judiciary Committee. If passed, it would take effect in July.


If you live in Mississippi click HERE.

If you live in another state, click HERE.

TJ Martinell

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