(MintPress) – On Tuesday, the Michigan Senate voted unanimously 37-0 to oppose the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a piece of legislation that would allow federal authorities to illegally detain citizens without trial or due process of law. Citizens deemed to have “substantial ties” to a terrorist organization or terrorist activity can be held indefinitely in unconstitutional detention facilities.
By passing Bill 94 (SB94), the Michigan Senate joins a bevy of states, counties and cities that have already passed a version of the Liberty Act. This model legislation would prohibit any state or local police in Michigan from assisting or carrying out the arrest, or prosecution of a citizen in a manner that violates “the United States Constitution, the state constitution of 1963, or any law of the state.”
Public opposition to the NDAA has grown in recent months as nine cities, including San Francisco, Calif. and Takoma Park, Md. have already passed resolutions against the NDAA. Nine counties in Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have all passed similar resolutions.
If the bill is signed into law, Michigan would become the third state after Virginia and Hawaii to pass legislation opposing the NDAA.
Critics of the NDAA claim that broad powers granted to the executive branch would allow the Obama administration to detain any U.S. citizen thought to have “substantial ties” to a terrorist organization or terrorist activity.
Journalists who interview known terrorists or enemy combatants would be at risk of being detained. Those working in war zones would be limited in their ability to cover political opposition groups, an essential function of the free press.
A driving force behind SB94 has been People Against National Defense Authorization Act (PANDA), “the largest organization in the United States combatting indefinite detention without charge or trial.”
PANDA Michigan’s Dennis Marburger vowed to oppose all federal legislation that subverts the U.S. Constitution in a recent statement, saying:
“The very active and knowledgeable group of Michiganians fighting this egregious Federal overreach will not rest until there is real, tangible and viable state resistance to D.C.’s attempts to deny our rights and threaten our safety – whatever unconstitutional legislation, edict or judicial fiat our government employees use as an excuse.”
Passed in 2012, the NDAA violates Fifth Amendment constitutional protections that say no citizen can “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
If suspected of terrorism, a U.S. citizen can be sent to an unconstitutional penal colony, like Guantanamo Bay. Despite recent assurances from Attorney General Eric Holder, the NDAA would also permit the Obama administration to target citizens for assassination using unmanned drones.
The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Rick Jones, hopes that the strong bipartisan support for Senate Bill 94 (SB94) will allow the bill to be passed in the State House. Jones was supported by PANDA and other civil liberties groups that oppose federal laws that apply laws of war and indefinite detention to anyone on U.S. soil.
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