A state is considering a bill that would counter one law that is rarely mentioned by the mainstream media—which just happens to be the one that gives the president the power to enforce indefinite detention of American citizens—the National Defense Authorization Act.
While most states ignore the overreaching power granted by the NDAA, the state of Idaho is fighting back against it. The Idaho House of Representatives passed House Bill 473, the Restoring Constitutional Governance Act, in a landslide vote of 63-4 this week. The bill specifically targets the most egregious constitutional violations that are allowed by the NDAA:
“The purpose of the Restoring Constitutional Governance Act is to restore the constitutional protections usurped by certain provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”). Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA, Public Law 50 U.S.C. 1541, authorize the violation of no fewer than 14 provisions of the Constitution including over half of the Bill of Rights. The sovereign government of the Great State of Idaho has a duty to protect the rights of citizens and other persons within Idaho’s jurisdiction against such violations and from Federal overreach.”
Section 1021 of the NDAA gives the president of the United States the power to indefinitely detain individuals—including American citizens—without due process. It states that “Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force … includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons … pending disposition under the law of war.”
The organization at the forefront of this legislation, People Against The NDAA, argues that the National Defense Authorization Act violates several of the basic freedoms acknowledged by the Bill of Rights, including:
- Article I, Section 9, Suspension Clause
- Article III, Section 2, Trial by Jury
- Article III, Section 3, Treason
- First Amendment, Free Speech
- Fourth Amendment, Unlawful Search, and Seizure
- Fifth Amendment, Due Process
- Sixth Amendment, Speedy Trial
- Eighth Amendment, Cruel and Unusual Punishment
The pending legislation in Idaho counters Section 1021 by stating, “By enacting this bill, the Idaho legislature holds that indefinite detention without due process or transfer to jurisdictions outside the United States of persons within Idaho in particular and citizens of Idaho, in general, are unlawful and violate the Constitution of the State of Idaho and the Constitution of the United States of America.”
If the bill is passed, it would become illegal for anyone in the state of Idaho to “Arrest or capture any person in Idaho or any citizen of Idaho under the law of war;” “actually subject a person in Idaho to disposition under the law of war;” and “Use deadly force under the laws of war against any person in Idaho, or intentionally subject any citizen of Idaho for targeted killing or murder.”
House Bill 473 will now move on to the Senate State Affairs Committee, and if it becomes law, it could guarantee that “neither Congress nor the president of the United States can constitutionally apply the laws of war to any person in Idaho.” It could also be used as a blueprint for legislation in other states that seek to ensure they are not used as “a battlefield subject to the laws of war.”
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