“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” ~Albert Einstein
By Alden L. Benton
On December 31, 2011, President Obama, in effect, suspended key portions of the United States Constitution. He did not act alone in his treason. He was aided and abetted by 283 co-conspirators in the U.S. House of Representatives (190 Republicans), and 86 in the U.S. Senate (40 Republicans) — all individuals elected by the people to serve the people and sworn to the best of their ability “… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution)
The legislation to which I refer is HR 1540, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). (PDF of final bill)
The 2012 NDAA is a dangerous expansion of government power that opens the door to the total control of a police state. The 2012 NDAA rips at the very fabric of our basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution.
- The President to indefinitely detain, without charge, any person, including a citizen of the United States or a lawful resident alien, regardless of whether the person is apprehended inside or outside the borders of the United States.
- Indefinite detention of persons apprehended within the United States without charge or trial.
- Prosecution by military tribunals under the law of war for persons apprehended within the United States.
- Transfer of persons apprehended within the United States to foreign jurisdictions.
The 2012 NDAA violates the following portions of the United States Constitution:
- Article I Section 9, Clause 2’s right to seek Writ of Habeas Corpus;
- The First Amendment’s right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances;
- The Fourth Amendment’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures;
- The Fifth Amendment’s right to be free from charge for an infamous or capitol crime until presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury;
- The Fifth Amendment’s right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of law;
- The Sixth Amendment’s right in criminal prosecutions to enjoy a speedy trial by an impartial jury in the State and District where the crime shall have been committed;
- The Sixth Amendment’s right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;
- The Sixth Amendment’s right confront witnesses;
- The Sixth Amendment’s right to Counsel;
- The Eighth Amendment’s right to be free from excessive bail and fines, and cruel and unusual punishment;
- The Fourteenth Amendment’s right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, without Due Process of law;
- Article I Section 2’s right to be free from deprivation of life or liberty without Due Process of law;
- Article I Section 5’s right to have prompt recourse to the laws for all injuries to one’s person;
- Article I Section 6’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure;
- Article I Section 7’s right to be free from capital charge absent a grand jury indictment, or felony charge absent grand jury indictment absent information signed by the attorney general;
- Article I, Section 8’s right to be free from excessive bail;
- Article I Section 9’s right to bail and right to Habeas Corpus;
- Article I Section 10’s right to a speedy pubic trial by an impartial jury, right to have the assistance of counsel, and the right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of peers;
- Article I Section 14’s right to be presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by the law;
- Article I Section 15’s right to a trial by Jury;
- Article I Section 18’s requirement that the military authority is subordinate to the civil authority.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Congress passed this abomination and the president signed it. To my knowledge, there have been no significant legal challenges to the provisions of the 2012 NDAA.
However, there is hope. A number of states, including ultra-liberal California, have introduced legislation to nullify the more onerous provisions of the 2012 NDAA through the provisions of the Tenth Amendment.
The Tenth Amendment states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
It is from this delineation of powers that the idea of nullification springs. The idea of nullification is not new. Nullification, the idea that the states can invalidate Federal laws, began with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798 and 1799). Written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions sought to invalidate the Alien and Sedition Acts, a set of laws passed by Congress in 1798.
Of the four laws that made up the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Sedition Act concerned Madison and Jefferson the most as, contrary to the First Amendment to the Constitution it levied fines or imprisonment for individuals who criticized the government, Congress, or president in speech or print.
In the pre-Civil War era, states used nullification to negate the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The Fugitive Slave Act stated that any black who was determined to be more than a certain number of miles from his home was considered a fugitive and could be thrown in jail without the benefit of the right to Habeas Corpus, a trial, or to even give testimony in his own defense. The law forced citizens to help federal “commissioners” capture runaway slaves. In addition, a captured runaway could not testify on his own behalf and was not entitled to a court trial.
A number of states in the North responded to this attack on the Constitution by passing personal liberty laws. These laws nullified the Fugitive Slave Act by making it all but impossible to enforce, guaranteeing due process rights for accused runaways, extending Habeas Corpus, provided for jury trials, and harshly punishing false testimony.
In Part 2 of this post I will explain the choice California has to exercise “the rightful remedy” to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional attack on their liberties contained within the 2012 NDAA.
“Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers … a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” Thomas Jefferson: The Kentucky Resolution, 1798
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