On December 26, 2013, President Barack Obama took time off from his Hawaiian holiday to sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2014 into law. On that same day, a state governor denied the president the power to exercise many of the powers granted to him in the NDAA within the sovereign borders of the governor’s state.
Just after 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan signed Senate Bill No. 94, nullifying sections 1021 of the 2012 version of the NDAA. “It is important to recall that indefinite detention first appeared in section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, which provided warrant for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens,” said Snyder.
Although the provisions prohibited by the new Michigan statute are from the 2012 iteration of the NDAA, the unconstitutional assault on the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution continues in the latest version of the defense spending package.
After voting to oppose the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2014 for that very reason, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued a statement explaining his vote. That statement begins:
Today I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process.
The Constitution does not allow President Obama, or any president, to apprehend an American citizen, arrested on U.S. soil, and detain these citizens indefinitely without a trial. When I ran for office, I promised the people of Texas I would oppose any National Defense Authorization Act that did not explicitly prohibit the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Although this legislation does contain several positive provisions that I support, it does not ensure our most basic rights as American citizens are protected.
In reporting on Governor Snyder’s signing of his state’s NDAA nullification bill, the Washington Times wrote:
Michigan State Senator Rick Jones says that no American citizen should fear being thrown in jail or prison without charges.
“Historically Michigan first asserted Tenth Amendment rights in 1855 when we passed a law to block the fugitive slave act,” says Jones. “I thought of this great history when I drafted and pushed this bill to nullify section 1021 of the NDAA within the state of Michigan.”
Michigan’s state legislators have been working for several months on a measure blocking the enforcement of the NDAA’s infringement on fundamental liberty.
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