Liberty Preservation Act

Resolution: Liberty Preservation

Modified version of the resolution originally written by our friends at the Rhode Island Liberty Coalition for use on a State OR Local level.
Get the original and talking points here.

NOTE: wherever text is underlined, you need to insert the term appropriate to your forum
WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States passed the National Defense Authorization Act, 2011 P.L. 112-81, (“2012 NDAA”) for Fiscal Year 2012 on December 15, 2011;
WHEREAS, the President of the United States of America signed the 2012 NDAA into law on December 31, 2011;
WHEREAS, Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA purports to authorize, but does not require, the President of the United States to utilize the armed forces of the United States to detain persons the President suspects were part of, or substantially supported, al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces;
WHEREAS, Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA purports to authorize, but does not require, the President of the United States, through the Armed Forces of the United States, to dispose of such detained persons according to the Law of War, which may include but is not limited to: (1) indefinite detention without charge or trial until the end of hostilities authorized by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, 2001 P.L. 107-40, (2) prosecution through a Military Commission, or (3) transfer to a foreign country or foreign entity;
WHEREAS, Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA seeks to preserve existing law and authorities pertaining to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, and any other person captured in the United States, but does not specify what such existing law or authorities are;
WHEREAS, Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA purports enlarge the scope of the those persons the Office of the President may indefinitely detain beyond those responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and those who harbored them, as purportedly authorized by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, to now include “[a] person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces;”
WHEREAS, Section 1022 of the 2012 NDAA requires the Armed Forces of the United States to detain, pending disposition according to the Law of War, any person involved in, or whom provided substantial support to, terrorism or belligerent acts against the United States, and whom is a member of Al-Qaeda or an associated force;
WHEREAS, The exemption for citizens of the United States in Section 1022 of the 2012 NDAA only exempts them from a requirement to detain and reads as follows, “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States”;
WHEREAS, Unlike Section 1022 of the 2012 NDAA, Section 1021 makes no specific exclusion for United States citizens and lawful resident aliens for conduct occurring within the United States;
WHEREAS, the specific exclusion of application to United States citizens and lawful resident aliens contained in Section 1022 of the 2012 NDAA, and the absence of such exclusion in Section 1021 of the NDAA, strongly implies that the provisions of Section 1021 are intended to apply to all people, including United States citizens and lawful resident aliens, whether or not they are captured in the United States;
WHEREAS, the Office of the President of the United States, under both the administrations of George W. Bush and Barak H. Obama, has asserted the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists allows the Office of the President to indefinitely detain without charge persons, including United States Citizens and lawful resident aliens, captured in the United States;
WHEREAS, United States Senator Carl Levin declared in colloquy on the floor of the United States Senate that the original 2012 NDAA provided that section 1021 (then section 1031 prior to final drafting) specifically would not apply to United States citizens, but that the Office of the President of the United States had requested that such restriction be removed from the 2012 NDAA;
WHEREAS, during debate within the Senate and before the passage of the 2012 NDAA, United States Senator Mark Udall introduced an amendment intended to forbid the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, which was rejected by a vote of 38–60;
WHEREAS, United States Senator John McCain and United States Senator Lindsey Graham declared in colloquies on the floor of the United States Senate that Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA authorized the indefinite detention of United States Citizens captured within the United States by the Armed Forces of the United States;
WHEREAS, United States Senator Lindsey Graham declared in colloquy on the floor of the United States Senate that the United States homeland is now part of “the battlefield;”
WHEREAS, Policing the United States of America by the Armed Forces of the United States, as purportedly authorized by the 2012 NDAA, overturns the Posse Comitatus doctrine and is repugnant to a free society;
WHEREAS, Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA as they purport to authorize, 1) detainment of persons captured within the United States of America without charge or trial, 2) military tribunals for persons captured within the United States of America, and 3) the transfer of persons captured within the United States of America to foreign jurisdictions, are violative of the following rights enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America;

  • 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;

WHEREAS, Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA as they purport to authorize, 1) detainment of persons captured within the United States of America without charge or trial, 2) military tribunals for persons captured within the United States of America, and 3) the transfer of persons captured within the United States of America to foreign jurisdictions, is repugnant to the following rights enshrined in the (STATE) Constitution:  (NOTE – AS WRITTEN FOR THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND.  ENTER RELEVANT SECTIONS FROM YOUR STATE BELOW)

  • 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;

WHEREAS, the members of this (Legislature, Town Council, County Government, etc..) have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of (Rhode Island);
WHEREAS, this (Legislature, Town Council, County Government, etc..) opposes any and all rules, laws, regulations, bill language or executive orders, which amount to an overreach of the federal government and which effectively take away civil liberties;
WHEREAS, it is indisputable that the threat of terrorism is real, and that the full force of appropriate and constitutional law must be used to defeat this threat; however, winning the war against terror cannot come at the great expense of mitigating basic, fundamental, constitutional rights;
WHEREAS, undermining our own inalienable rights serves only to concede to the terrorists’ demands of changing the fabric of what made the United States of America a country of freedom, liberty and opportunity.
NOW BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the (Legislature, City Council, etc…) of the (Your State, Municipality or County), condemns in no uncertain terms Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA as they purport to 1) repeal Posse Comitatus and authorize the President of the United States to utilize the Armed Forces of the United States to police the United States of America, 2) indefinitely detain persons captured within the United States of America without charge until the end of hostilities as purportedly authorized by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, 3) subject persons captured within the United States of America to military tribunals, and 4) transfer persons captured within the United States of America to a foreign country or foreign entity; and
BE IT RESOLVED, that the (Legislature, City Council, etc…) finds that the enactment into law by the United States Congress of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Public Law Number 112-81, is inimical to the liberty, security and well-being of the people of (Your State, Municipality or County), and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the limits of federal power in United States Constitution; and
BE IT RESOLVED, that all agencies of the (Legislature, City Council, etc…) of _______, are instructed to decline requests by federal agencies acting under detention powers of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that could infringe upon residents’ freedom of speech, religion, assembly, privacy, rights to counsel, or other rights not here explicitly enumerated; and
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, each member of Congress from the State of (STATE) to the Honorable John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; each justice on the United States Supreme Court; and the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of each state’s legislature.