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A Law to Nullify the NDAA?

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

A state bill sponsored by Republican Tim Donnelly would guarantee Californians protection from the threat of indefinite detention made possible by the National Defense Authorization Act.

The bill is called the California Liberty Preservation Act. If enacted, it would retain several fundamental civil liberties enshrined by the Constitution, “including the right of habeas corpus, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to be informed of criminal charges brought against him or her.”

The bill relies on the 10th Amendment’s preservation for the states of all powers not specifically granted to the federal government. The New American magazine says the bill is “a constitutionally sound expression of state sovereignty.”

The latest National Defense Authorization Act confirms the power taken by the federal government the previous year to detain indefinitely and without cause any American the government deems a suspect in connection with terrorism.

Last year, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges sued the Obama administration over the constitutionality of the law. His co-plaintiffs included Truthdigger of the Week Alexa O’Brien and other media figures and political activists. Judges repeatedly struck down the law, which the administration answered by appealing each time. The case is still in progress.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The New American:

In a press release issued by his office after the committee approved his bill, Assemblyman Donnelly recognizes his duty to resist attempts by Washington, D.C., to deny Americans of their most basic freedoms.

“The NDAA gives the executive branch — under not only President Obama, but also every future president — unprecedented power to detain US citizens without due process. This runs counter to the very principles that make America great, and violates our nation’s commitment to the rule of law,” said Assemblyman Donnelly.

He continued, “We have a moral duty to protect Californians from the disastrous consequences made possible by NDAA. When Constitutional protections are ignored, racist hysteria allows vulnerable groups to be targeted. It was not long ago we memorialized the tragedy of Japanese American internment camps on the floor of the California State Assembly. I am grateful for today’s committee vote, which shows Californians that their representatives are serious about ensuring similar violations of freedom and human rights abuses never happen again within our State.”

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