In this day of fights between the left and the right, the Democrats and Republicans, the Michigan House of Representatives is unanimous on a plan to defy the federal government’s citizen detention plans.
The state’s HB 5768 addresses Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act that Congress adopted and Barack Obama signed a year ago.
Although interpretations differ, a judge already has confirmed that it appears to allow the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens under certain circumstances without a warrant or a trial.
If that is the case, there clearly would be constitutional problems.
But in Michigan, on a 107-0 vote, members of the state House have adopted their own statement on the issue.
Their proposal states “no agency of this state, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the Michigan national guard on official state duty shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act.”
Rep. Tom McMillin, the sponsor, was pleased, according to the Tenth Amendment Center, which monitors issues of state sovereignty.
“My bill opposing NDAA’s indefinite detention, and taking away due process and prohibiting the Michigan government from participating, passed the House today. On to the state Senate,” he said.
“There has been a lot of debate about the [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein amendment recently passed in the U.S. Senate. Will it really protect Americans from indefinite detention? Or is the language too broad? State actions like the one taken in Michigan today protect people no matter what they come up with in D.C.,” Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey said.
“Even if the Feinstein amendment sticks, it still expressly claims congressional power to pass legislation to detain people on U.S. soil. It is the duty of state legislatures to interpose and stop the progress of evil. And what can be more evil than government-sanctioned kidnapping? Don’t let caterwauling in D.C. distract you. Keep pressing your state lawmakers to take action.”
WND recently reported an even more extreme effort developing in Texas. If the plan is adopted, anyone trying to enforce such a detention could be apprehended and given a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
The NDAA, signed into law by Obama at the end of 2011, includes sections 1021 and 1022, which essentially “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.
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.”
He cited House Bill 149 by Rep. Lyle Larson in Texas.
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 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 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.
It also violates habeas corpus, the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment, the legislation explains. That includes the right to petition government, freedom from unreasonable searches, the prohibition of the deprivation of liberty without due process, the right to a speedy trial and the ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Since 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 much further.
It specifies 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 or both.
Already, cooperating with the NDAA provisions are illegal in Virginia, and dozens of counties and local communities have taken the same step.
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.
WND previously has reported on a court case challenging the sections in which the Obama administration has battled vigorously for its right to detention.
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 wrote, “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 in 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.