While the country’s focus was on the payroll tax cut and the unemployment extension, the Senate quietly passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), that funds the military but also permits detention of U.S. Citizens without charges or trial, for an indefinite period of time.
Both Illinois senators, Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, voted “yes” for this bill. It was a truly bipartisan moment.
Kirk and Durbin are fortunate that Illinois doesn’t offer voters the flexibility of Montana, whose senators, Max Baucus and Jonathon Tester, also voted for the bill. Voters in Montana launched a drive for a federal representative recall vote, an option only allowed in nine states.
Perhaps for political expedidiency, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. 2003, the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011. This act would guarantee that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can not be detained without charge or trial regardless of authorization given to the preseident for military actions or declarations of war, unless authorized by an Act of Congress
She neglected to repeal the section of the NDAA that gives the president virtually unlimited authority to declare anyone an enemy of the state and fair game for military action. But that’s another issue.
When the bill was introduced in the Senate, both Kirk and Durbin signed on as two of fourteen co-sponsors. Repealing the excessive presidential power clause and removing the noxious section that violates the Sixth and 14th Amendments would have been too much like right.
Then Feistein came along and bailed them out with her bill, which really changes nothing with the Act of congress clause in there, because Congress was more than happy to bow down to the anti-American accusations and pass this unconstitutional legislation to begin with.
The companion House bill, H.R. 3702, was introduced Dec. 16, 2011 and has 29 co-sponsors, two of whom are from Illinois — Rep. Bobby Rush (D-01) and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-02).
Sadly, this bill also allows an Act of Congress to override the U.S. Constitution.
We should all appreciate that they are trying to protect us from a big bad wolf president, but they’re putting our constitutional freedom in the hands of the Queen of heart’s court in Alice in Wonderland.
Over the last decade, Congress has had a pretty poor track record of ensuring the president doesn’t overstep his bounds when it comes to our civil rights.
“As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air ‘however slight,’ lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” — Chief Justice William O. Douglas
Enforce term limits – vote all encumbents out