Rand Paul's NDAA Amendment: Does It Go Far Enough?

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
11/26/2012
       
Rand Paul's NDAA Amendment: Does It Go Far Enough?

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has proposed an amendment to this year’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It is said that the amendment would curtail the president’s power to indefinitely detain American citizens granted under provisions of last year’s law.

Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare blog reports that a source sent him a copy of an e-mail “apparently from Senator Rand Paul’s office” meant for Republican Senate legislative directors regarding an amendment Paul may propose to this year’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). According to the text of the e-mail, the Paul amendment would curtail the president’s power to indefinitely detain American citizens granted under provisions of last year’s law.

Below is the content of the e-mail as published on Lawfare:

From: Henderson, William (Paul)
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 4:54 PM
Subject: Paul amendment to DOD Authorization

GOP LD’s,

It is my understanding that some or all of your offices are being whipped on whether your boss would support a Paul amendment to DOD Authorization concerning the detention of US citizens apprehended on US soil and held by the US military. The proposed text of the amendment is below for your convenience. As your boss is considering the amendment, I wanted to point out that the language of the amendment is derived from the 6th Amendment to the US Constitution (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html), and we would ask that your boss support the 6th Amendment rights of American citizens.

Text of proposed Paul amendment:

A citizen of the United States captured or arrested in the United States and detained by the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Since Witte’s story was published, Senator Paul’s amendment has been offered and the language of the measure is identical to the version leaked to Witte, including the British spelling of defense, as was used in the Constitution.

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo of Sen. Rand Paul: AP Images

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