Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Presumably, a proposal being developed in Texas right now won’t be necessary should its petition on the White House website to secede from the union be successful.
But if not, the Lone Star state apparently wants to be prepared to challenge whatever it views as a federal encroachment on the rights of the state, or its citizens.
So it will be reviewing a legislative plan that not only would make it illegal to cooperate with the federal National Defense Authorization Act in Texas, but could make an offender subject to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
The NDAA was signed into law by Barack Obama at the end of 2011, and it includes sections 1021 and 1022, “Which, in essence, create a new power for the federal government to ‘indefinitely detain’ – without due process – any person. Indefinitely. That’s little different than kidnapping,” said a report from the Tenth Amendment Center, which focuses its work on the rights reserved to the states and the people under the federal Constitution.
Michael Boldin, the center’s founder, told WND, “With four more years of the man who not only signed ‘indefinite detention’ into law, but has vigorously defended it in court, there is absolutely zero chance for repeal in Washington, D.C. Our last hope is to stand up and nullify.”
The “Texas Liberty Preservation Act” specifically finds the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution lets Washington “exercise only those powers specifically delegated to it under Article I, Section 8.”
The bill itself explains that the president “has asserted that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, enacted in 2001, authorizes the president to indefinitely detain, without charge, any person, including a citizen of the United States or a lawful resident alien, regardless of whether the person is apprehended inside or outside the borders of the United States.”
The NDAA sections specifically allow “indefinite detention of persons apprehended within the United States without charge or trial.”
That, however, violates “The Texas Constitution, the limits of federal power authorized by Article I, Section 8″ and “the legal doctrine of Posse Comitatus.
Oh, and it also violates habeas corpus, the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the legislation explains.
That would be the right to petition government, being free from unreasonable searches, the prohibition of the deprivation of liberty without due process, a speedy trial, the ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and others.
Since those sections, 1021 and 1022, “Violate portions of federal law, the United States Constitution, and the Texas Constitution,” they are “invalid and illegal” in Texas, the legislation says.
But it goes further. A lot.
It specifies that “A person who is an official, agent, or employee of the United States or an employee of a corporation providing services to the United States commits an offense if the person enforces or attempts to enforce a statute, a rule or regulation, an order, or any law of the United States in violation of this subchapter.”
Such violations would be punishable by a jail term of a year, a fine of not more than $10,000.
“Rep. Larson will likely be derided by the establishment, so if you live in Texas, he deserves your praise and relentless support on this issue,” Boldin told WND. “If you live anywhere else in the country, the time to act is now. Get on the phone with your state legislators and press them to show the same kind of courage that Lyle Larson has done. When enough states stand up and say NO to unconstitutional federal acts, there’s not much that Obama and his gang can do about it. The Constitution and your liberty will win.”
The organization has reported that sources suggest that at least 10 other states will be considering similar legislation in the coming year.
“And potentially dozens of counties and cities can be expected to move along these lines as well,” the report said.
Already, cooperating with the NDAA provisions are illegal in Virginia. Michigan is considering a similar move, and more than 15 local communities have take the same action.
The pushback against the NDAA started with a few local communities in Colorado before Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed House Bill 1160, making that state the first to pass a law not only rejecting the federal act, but fully banning any state agency from cooperating with the feds on it.
The fight is on appeal right now, after U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest issued a permanent injunction against the sections.
In her order, Forrest had written, “The government put forth the qualified position that plaintiffs’ particular activities, as described at the hearing, if described accurately, if they were independent, and without more, would not subject plaintiffs to military detention under Section 1021.”
But she continued, “The government did not – and does not – generally agree or anywhere argue that activities protected by the First Amendment could not subject an individual to indefinite military detention under Section 1021.”
The case was brought last January by a number of writers and reporters, led by New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges. The journalists contend the controversial section allows for detention of citizens and residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to anyone engaged in hostilities against the U.S.
The lawsuit alleges the law is vague and could be read to authorize the arrest and detention of people whose speech or associations are protected by the First Amendment. They wonder whether interviewing a member of al-Qaida would be considered “substantial support.”
“Here, the stakes get no higher: indefinite military detention – potential detention during a war on terrorism that is not expected to end in the foreseeable future, if ever. The Constitution requires specificity – and that specificity is absent from Section 1021,” the judge wrote.
“It most definitely tells us something about their intent,” he told WND.
He cited Obama’s signing statement, when the bill was made law, that he would not use the provision allowing detention of American citizens without probable cause in military facilities.
“Just because someone says something doesn’t mean they’re not lying,” he said.
Forrest had said the law “impermissibly impinges on guaranteed First Amendment rights and lacks sufficient definitional structure and protection to meet the requirements of due process.”
“This court rejects the government’s suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention, and have as their sole remedy a habeas petition adjudicated by a single decision-maker (a judge versus a jury), by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard,” she wrote.
“That scenario dispenses with a number of guaranteed rights,” she said.
The Obama administration already has described those who hold a pro-life position or support third-party presidential candidates or the Second Amendment as fitting the profile of a domestic terrorist.
Obama stated when he put his signature to the legislative plan that his administration “will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”
The case was brought on behalf of Christopher Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, Alex O’Brien, Kai Warg All, Brigitta Jonsottir and the group U.S. Day of Rage. Many of the plaintiffs are authors or reporters who stated that the threat of indefinite detention by the U.S. military already had altered their activities.