State and Local Resistance to NDAA Detention Grows

Tenth Amendment Center
 
Issue CCCXIV - February 28, 2012
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State and local resistance to detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act continues to snowball.

On Tuesday, February 14, the Virginia House overwhelming passed “A BILL to prevent any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

The House of Delegates approved HB1160 96-4. It now moves on to the Virginia Senate for consideration.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, February 16, the Arizona Senate Border Security, Federalism and States Sovereignty Committee approved SB1182 6-1, bringing it one step away from a full Senate vote. The bill, “prohibits this state and agencies of this state from participating in the implementation of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 and classifies the act of attempting to enforce or enforcing these sections as a class 1 misdemeanor.”

The Arizona and Virginia legislatures join lawmakers in Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington considering laws or resolutions pushing back against NDAA detention. And sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee indicate several more states will follow suit in the next two weeks.

Resistance to indefinite detention without due process is not limited to states. Six local governments have passed resolutions condemning sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA. Earlier this week, the Town Council of Macomb, N.Y. unanimously passed a resolution, and Fairfax, Calif. approved a similar resolution 4-1. On Wednesday, February 15,  New Shoreham, R.I. also passed a resolution opposing NDAA detention.

“Most Americans recognize that the federal government rarely, if ever, relinquishes power once it grasps it. So state and local governments are taking James Madison’s words to heart and interposing on behalf of their citizens,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said.

Some argue that sections 1021 and 1022 don’t actually authorize indefinite detention of persons on U.S. soil, but Maharrey says their assurances shouldn’t provide much comfort.

“The very fact that so many legal experts come up with so many diverse readings of those NDAA sections should give us all pause,” he said. "The language is vague and undefined. Are we really going to trust the judgment and good intentions of Pres. Obama or whichever Republican sits in the White House to protect us? That seems like a pretty bad plan.”
To track state and local resistance to NDAA detention, click HERE.

The Tenth Amendment Center exists to promote and advance a return to a proper balance of power between federal and State governments envisioned by our founders, prescribed by the Constitution and explicitly declared in the Tenth Amendment. A national think tank based in Los Angeles, the Tenth Amendment Center works to preserve and protect the principle of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism.

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