NDAA Law News: Washington State Bill Would Block U.S. from Investigating, Detaining Americans

on February 03 2012 2:14 PM
Washington Statehouse
Five Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill in the Washington state legislature that would nullify certain provisions of the NDAA. Flickr.com

An anti-NDAA law was introduced by five Washington state Republican lawmakers this week. The bill, dubbed the Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act, comes in response to the controversial National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, which President Barack Obama signed into law a month ago.

The legislation, also known as HB 2759, condemns the NDAA's provision that allow for the U.S. military to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens and lawful resident aliens without formally charging them with a crime, according to the Tenth Amendment Center. The bill was introduced Tuesday, first read in the Washington state House of Representatives on Wednesday, and has been forwarded to the House's Judiciary Committee.

HB 2759 would prohibit the U.S. military from conducting an investigation or detainment of a U.S. citizen or lawful resident alien in Washington state, except under certain circumstances.

It also goes on to bar any state employee, member of the Washington National Guard or any agent of a corporation doing business with the state to cooperate in the federal detainment or investigation of a U.S. citizens or lawful resident aliens.

The bill explains the reason behind its sponsors' opposition to the NDAA, stating that the law is unconstitutional because it deprives U.S. citizens of key constitutional rights including the right to due process and right to trial.

It is indisputable that the threat of terrorism is real, and that the full force of appropriate, and constitutional, law must be used to defeat this threat, the bill states. However, winning the war against terror cannot come at the great expense of eviscerating the unalienable rights recognized by and protected in the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Washington. Indeed, undermining those constitutional rights serves only to concede to the terrorists' demands of changing the fabric of what has made the United States of America a republic granting the greatest number of people the greatest amount of liberty, justice, security, opportunity, prosperity, happiness, peace, and good ever known or experienced by humankind throughout the history of the world.

The Tenth Amendment Center compared the move by the five Washington state lawmakers to northern state and local governments, which successfully blocked the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which allowed federal authorities to arrest free blacks and send them back to lives of slavery with little or no due process. The center went so far as to say the NDAA has the potential to become the Fugitive Slave Act of the 21st century, and it once again falls upon the states to protect the rights and liberties of their citizens.

Representatives Jason Overstreet (R-Blaine), Matt Shea (R- Spokane Valley), Vincent Buys (R-Lynden), Cary Condotta (R- East Wenatchee) and David Taylor (R-Moxee) are the five sponsors of the Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act.

Washington is the third state, after Tennessee and Virginia, to consider such NDAA-nullifying legislation, and lawmakers in other states are also considering such laws.

To track anti-NDAA state legislation nationwide, click here.

For model legislation to propose to your state legislators, click here.

More News from IBT MEDIA