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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chair I rise in support of amendment No. 46 to H.R. 4310 ``National Defense Authorization Act,'' NDAA, offered by Ranking Member ADAM SMITH and Rep. JUSTIN AMASH. It would strike section 1022 of the FY2012 NDAA and amends Section 1021 of same Act to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person detained under AUMF authority in U.S., territories or possessions by providing immediate transfer to trial and proceedings by a court established under Article III of the Constitution of the United States or by an appropriate State court.

This amendment would bar any President or any other government official from ordering the military to put anyone in the United States, or its territories or possessions, into indefinite detention without charge or trial, or to put anyone in the United States on trial before a military commission.

Federal criminal courts are open, operating, experienced, and secure--and are the appropriate venue for any proceedings here in the United States itself.
The Bill of Rights applies to all persons within the United States and its territories, this amendment is consistent with 232 years of constitutional precedent as it does not pick and choose between which persons on located on U.S. soil will receive constitutional protections.

Further, the amendment bars the transfer of anyone in the United States to the military for indefinite detention without charge or trial. This provision is consistent with the Posse Comitatus Act, and would provide an additional protection against any misuse of civilian law enforcement as a way to put suspects into military detention without charge or trial.

It is fully consistent with the Constitution, with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, and with the Non-Detention Act of 1971. It will reinforce the protections that most Americans assume apply--and do apply--within the United States.
Since 2001, this executive power has only been utilized 3 times which makes it clear that it is not necessary to protect our national security; however, creates a gap in our civil liberties.

This amendment would repeal section 1022 of last year's NDAA. Section 1022 requires the military to put some civilian suspects into military detention.

The current Administration has waived application of section 1022 to many groups of potential suspects, it has not foreclosed the possibility of section 1022 being applied to all categories of civilians, including even within the United States itself. To ensure this provision will not be used against those living in the United States under section 1022 of last year's NDAA is to repeal it.
Our military is designed to fight our battles overseas and to protect our borders they are not designed to enforce domestic laws.

The military has not been required to enforce domestic laws since the Civil War. We have a Department of Justice, State and Federal Prosecutors, and local law enforcement that have been successful for hundreds of years.

The amendment reaffirms the importance and availability of due process protections for all persons within the United States. It prohibits the NDAA detention provisions from providing any authority for the military to detain persons under any claim of authority under the NDAA or the Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting civil liberties and upholding the constitution by supporting this amendment.


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