WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States is the foundation of our nation’s rights and freedom, and the basis of our representative democracy; AND
WHEREAS, the indefinite military detention without trial of any person, including US citizens, could be allowed by Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA); AND
WHEREAS, the indefinite military detention of any person without trial violates the 5th and 6th amendments of the Constitution of the United States, Article III of the Constitution of the United States; AND
WHEREAS there is substantial public debate and uncertainty whether Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81) could be read even to repeal the Posse Comitatus Act and authorize indefinite military detention without charge or trial within the United States of U.S. citizens, in addition to legal permanent residents and others;
WHEREAS, the NDAA erodes the ideals of presumed innocence and right to a fair trial on which our nation was founded, and which generations of activists and military servicemen and women have fought to preserve; AND
WHEREAS [city or county] re-affirms its gratitude for the supreme sacrifice of those in the Armed Forces who have died in battle in the name of those same cherished rights and liberties; AND
WHEREAS, the NDAA’s detention provisions could be interpreted, under Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder, to allow the targeted detention of activists, journalists and other Americans exercising their First Amendment rights despite the crucial role of Free Speech in preserving liberty; AND
WHEREAS, the NDAA’s detention provisions do not authorize inhumane treatment of prisoners, but could indirectly enable unlawful torture and inhumane treatment by removing accountability, and by creating a means to detain suspects whose criminal convictions are in doubt because evidence was obtained through torture; AND
WHEREAS, the detention provisions could force US military servicemembers to serve as domestic jailers, a role for which they are neither trained nor equipped, nor is ever appropriate; AND
WHEREAS, no president has the power to take the country into war, except as James Madison wrote, “to repel a sudden attack on the United States, ” and Congress decides whether and when to use military power, and by contrast the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force threatens to be used for endless war and endless indefinite detention without charge or trial, AND
WHEREAS, the [city or county] has an extensive history of protecting its residents’ civil rights and liberties;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the [legislative body] of [city or county], [state], acting in the spirit and history of our community, does hereby declare that:
- We strongly affirm our loyalty to the rights and liberties enshrined within the Constitution of the United States, including the Fifth Amendment right to due process and the Sixth Amendment right to trial;
- We instruct all our public agencies to decline requests by federal agencies acting under detention powers granted by the NDAA that could infringe upon residents’ freedom of speech, religion, assembly, privacy, or rights to trial and counsel.
- We expect all federal and state law enforcement officials acting within the City to work in accordance with local law, and in cooperation with the [city or county] Police Department, by allowing any detainees among [city or county]’s residents or visitors access to a trial, counsel and due process, as provided by Article III of the Constitution of the United States;
- It is the sense of the [legislative body] of [city or county] that Congress should repeal Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81).
- It is the sense of the [legislative body] of [city or county] that the National Defense Authorization Act and the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) do not now, and should never, authorize the Armed Forces of the United States to investigate, arrest, detain, or try any person within the United States, or to militarily detain without charge or trial civilians not captured on any battlefield, and that the Authorization for Use of Military Force expires upon the end of combat operations in Afghanistan by the Armed Forces of the United States, but that
- (i) Congress retains the authority to declare war or authorize the use of military force, consistent with Article I of the Constitution.
- (ii) The President retains the authority under Article II of the Constitution to deploy the Armed Forces to repel a sudden attack on the United States, its territories or possessions, or its Armed Forces.
- We request that our United States Congressman and Senators monitor the implementation of the NDAA and actively work for the repeal of the NDAA’s detention provisions to restore fundamental rights and liberties embodied in the Constitutions of [State] and the United States. To that end, the Mayor shall send copies of this resolution to our US Congressman and Senators, the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the US Attorney General, and the President of the United States.
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Great work, I’d like to see this become an ordinance in my home counties.