It just got a lot harder for President Obama to indefinitely detain residents of California.
On October 1, Governor Jerry Brown (shown in photo) announced he had signed AB 351 into law.
The new statute, called the California Liberty Preservation Act, outlaws the participation of any agency of the state of California, any political subdivision of the state, employee of a state or local agency, or member of the California National Guard from
knowingly aiding an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California pursuant to (1) Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA), (2) the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force, enacted in 2001, or (3) any other federal law, except as specified, if the state agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the California National Guard would violate the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, or any law of this state by providing that aid....
... knowingly using state funds and funds allocated by the state to those local entities on and after January 1, 2013, to engage in any activity that aids an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in the detention of any person within California for purposes of implementing Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA or the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force , if that activity would violate the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, or any law of this state, as specified.
Interpreted broadly, the Liberty Preservation Act would outlaw state cooperation in any federal act which violates the state or federal constitutions. Although Governor Brown almost certainly didn’t intend the provisions of the law to be applied this liberally, the black letter could arguably be used to protect citizens of California from deprivation of a wide panoply of fundamental rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
It will be worth watching court dockets in California to see if anyone relies on this language to fight the state's infamous disarmament statutes.
Originally sponsored by State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a conservative Republican (now running for governor), the bill’s senate sponsor was one of that body’s “most liberal lawmakers,” Mark Leno.
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Photo of California Governor Jerry Brown: AP Images