While some believe that the 2013 NDAA eliminated indefinite detention, it did not. Dianne Feinstein introduced a very weak amendment to 2013 – and it failed anyway. 2012 indefinite detention provisions remain intact – and the Obama administration is aggressively defending them in court today.
Last year, Federal Judge Katherine Forrest struck down these indefinite detention powers as unconstitutional and issued a temporary court order blocking their use. That order was revoked by an appeals court and indefinite detention powers remain while the case is currently on appeal but not decided.
Additionally, when Judge Forrest asked Obama administration attorneys if the federal government was using indefinite detention in violation of her temporary order blocking it, they refused to confirm, leaving the door open for potential use of these powers in secret, even in outright defiance of an order from the federal courts.
Because of all this, and more, your local community stands on strong ground to reject federal power already struck down in federal court and still pending appeal. Local governments nationwide should pass the Liberty Preservation Ordinance with full confidence.
2013 State Legislation (includes previously passed laws)
Legend: Blue: Introduced. Yellow: Passed one or more houses. Green: Passed both houses. Red: Passed as Law. Purple: Failed Vote or Stalled in Committee
2012-13 Local Legislation
GREEN – Resolution or Ordinance Passed
2012 State Legislation
Local Resolutions in Progress
Map Maintained by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Some opponents of these efforts claim that the U.S. Constitution’s “supremacy clause” prevents your local community from taking action. But this is a complete misunderstanding, not only of the supremacy clause, but of the local legislation as well. There is absolutely ZERO serious dispute about the fact that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states (or their political subdivisions, local governments) to carry out its laws. None. Even the Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times.
In the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
In the 1997 case, Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers.
In the 2012 case, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled that a significant expansion of Medicaid was not a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, as it would coerce states to either accept the expansion or risk losing existing Medicaid funding.
In each case, the Supreme Court made it quite clear that, in their opinion, the federal government cannot require the states to act, or even coerce them to act through a threat to cut funding. Their opinion is correct. If the feds pass a law, they can sure try to enforce it if they want. But the states, and your local communities, absolutely do not have to help them in any way.