On December 15, just hours after the Senate had passed the compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif. photo) introduced a bill, supported by several of her colleagues from across the aisle, to extract at least one of the sharpest teeth from the freedom-devouring monster created by the NDAA.
The measure, entitled the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011, is an attempt by Feinstein and her co-sponsors to prevent American citizens detained under applicable provisions of the NDAA from being denied their constitutional right to the due process of law.
The stated purpose of the act is:
To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and for other purposes.
As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein wields considerable power in the upper chamber of the Congress, but even that influence was incapable of attracting enough support for an amendment to similar effect proposed on behalf of herself and Senator Rand Paul during the Senate’s debate on the original bill.
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Photo of Sen. Diane Feinstein: AP Images