Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today voted for legislation that would ensure due process for anyone detained on U.S. soil and eliminate mandatory military detention. Larsen, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted for a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act authored by Reps. Adam Smith, WA-09, and Justin Amash, MI-03. The amendment failed on a 182 to 238 vote.
"Congress had an opportunity today to stand up for our Constitutional rights and make it clear to all Americans that we stand by due process and our judicial system," Larsen said. "While we earned strong bipartisan support, I am disappointed that our amendment failed. I will work hard to make sure the language is included when the House and Senate negotiate the final bill.
"The civil liberties afforded us by the Constitution do not make us weaker--they make us stronger. We must make sure that military detention in the name of national security is not abused at the expense of our civil liberties. The amendment I voted for would make sure that anyone detained on U.S. soil has the due process rights they are owed under the Constitution. It would also eliminate mandatory military detention and restore the federal courts as the appropriate jurisdiction for the prosecutions of suspected terrorists.
"I have faith in both our Constitution and our federal courts. We cannot let the threat of terrorists and criminals compromise our values. Indeed, we must show the world that our values stand strong in the face of those who would try to attack us."