Friday, May 25th, 2018

California Senate Votes to Reject NDAA “Indefinite Detention.” 37-0

Published on September 5, 2013 by   ·   No Comments


Today, the California State Senate voted to approve a bill that will help render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The bill, by Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, was previously passed by the state assembly by a vote of 71-1 (roll call here)

California residents are strongly encouraged to contact Governor Jerry Brown, urging him to sign AB351.  (contact info here)

If passed into law, AB351 would make it state policy to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government.   It reads, in part:

It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California. [emphasis added]

This language of AB351 goes far beyond what has been considered in most other states, which focus solely on indefinite detention powers under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and nothing else.  Donnelly’s legislation broadens the scope by recognizing that indefinite detention should not be complied with no matter what federal law is used to justify it.  Donnelly confirmed this broad scope, “AB351 will prevent California from implementing indefinite detention for any reason.”

This would make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California.  As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.


Acting as floor manager for the bill in the Senate, San Francisco liberal Democrat Mark Leno, and his colleagues had a brief laugh he was the one presenting a bill introduced by ultra-conservative Assemblymember Tim Donnelly.   Leno noted that this was the result of the serious nature of the matter at hand.  He said, “It doesn’t matter where one finds oneself on the political spectrum, these two sections of this national defense act are wrong, unconstitutional and never should have been included.”

This was Leno’s 2nd time asserting that NDAA indefinite detention is, in fact, unconstitutional.  Minutes earlier he said, “Indefinite detention, by its very definition, means we are throwing away the basic foundations of our Constitution.”

When he presented the bill to the Assembly floor in May, Donnelly expressed much of the same.  He urged his colleagues to take action to prevent California’s sad history on indefinite detention from repeating.  During World War II, the state was ground zero for tens of thousands of people of Japanese descent who were indefinitely detained for years based on their race.    ”How did we ever allow this to happen…to allow people to be interned in camps because they looked different?”  Donnelly closed with a message that should be repeated in every state, “Not in California!  We say never again!”

Read More HERE

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