Another American town has decided its citizens will not be denied due process by the president of the United States.
Last year, the town of Rutland, Massachusetts, celebrated the 300th anniversary of its incorporation. Just days ago, the town honored that legacy of liberty by passing a measure nullifying the indefinite detention provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
At a Town Meeting, citizens of Rutland came together to vote on the Restoring Constitutional Governance Resolution (RCGR). The resolution passed unanimously, protecting residents of this central Massachusetts town from being apprehended and detained under the power unconstitutionally granted to the president by the Congress in Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA.
“The overwhelming support for Rutland RCGR once again tells elected officials throughout Worcester County and all of Massachusetts that the citizens here in the cradle of liberty will never give up their cherished civil rights,” reads a press release issued by the People Against the NDAA (PANDA).
As is the case with many towns in New England, citizens of Rutland retain the power to vote on issues presented for their consideration. After achieving a requisite number of signatures, items are placed on the Town Meeting agenda and voters present at the gathering vote up or down on the issue.
“Rutland residents voted unanimously in favor of the PANDA-sponsored resolution. Local resident Al Hopfmann successfully presented the case for a Yes vote,” PANDA reports.
In a statement issued by PANDA, Hopfmann says, “It was truly gratifying to see the voters of Rutland support the sanctity of the American judicial system and the Constitution. The traditional protection of individual liberty in our nation can only be preserved when citizens speak up in opposition to the overreach of government.”
As readers are likely aware, those particular provisions of the NDAA subject citizens of the United States to indefinite detention in a federal prison upon suspicion by the president and unnamed “high-level security advisors” of aiding enemies of the state.
The Restoring Constitutional Governance Resolution not only explicitly bans the offensive parts of the NDAA, but effectively nullifies any applicable “laws of war” (the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, for one) that designate Rutland and every other city and town in America a “battlefield” in the War on Terror.
Additionally, the measure explicitly outlaws the "arrest or capture [of] any person in Rutland, or citizen of Rutland, within the United States, with the intent of 'detention under the law of war.'"
The hour is urgent. It is vital to remember the history of the enactment of these unconscionable and unconstitutional provisions and to remind lawmakers of their obligation to prevent them from being imposed upon the people they represent.
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