NDAA Amendment Designed to Protect Americans from Indefinite Detentions Killed; Rand Paul Blames John McCain

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) had introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that was designed to limit the president's arbitrary power to indefinitely detain American citizens. It passed the Senate, but was stripped today in a conference committee; see this Reason 24/7 report.

Sen. Rand Paul, a loud supporter of the amendment, is ticked. Details from the Daily Caller:

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul quickly blamed his party’s 2008 presidential nominee, blasting a “McCain-led NDAA conference committee” for the omission.

“The decision by the NDAA conference committee, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to strip the National Defense Authorization Act of the amendment that protects American citizens against indefinite detention now renders the entire NDAA unconstitutional,” Sen. Paul said in a statement.

“When the government can arrest suspects without a warrant, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity,” the senator continued, noting that he voted against NDAA last year but supported the current version because of the Feinstein-Lee amendment.

The Caller sums up the argument that even with the amendment, the NDAA was still a civil liberties disaster:

Some civil libertarians worried that even Feinstein-Lee didn’t go far enough, arguing that it left the door open for Congress to authorize indefinite detention.

The amendment declared, “An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.”

The American Civil Liberties Union warned that this “could be read to imply that there are no constitutional obstacles to Congress enacting a statute that would authorize the domestic military detention of any person in the United States.”....

The NDAA is still trying to pretend it isn't blatantly unconstitutional:

In place of the Feinstein-Lee amendment is language stating that nothing in the NDAA “shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights.”

The Supreme Court has already ruled that the writ of habeas corpus applies to all people.

“Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process,” Paul insisted. “It is by no means the whole.”

“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience.

The Tenth Amendment Center made a very detailed case that even the Feinstein-Lee amendment did not blunt the horrors of the NDAA.

Reason.tv on the NDAA from last year:

 

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  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    "“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience."

    Can we quote you on that? The Biden Commission may not have heard about it.

  • Copernicus||

    Is this the same John McCain who bursts into tears every time he explains what a human rights violation torture is?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Yeah, that's the guy. The same one who abandoned his disabled wife for a rich bimbo.

    -jcr

  • DJF||

    Is it too late to send McCain back to the Vietnam and say that we will trade him for a freedom loving disident?

  • mr lizard||

    Because FYTW

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "the senator continued, noting that he voted against NDAA last year but supported the current version because of the Feinstein-Lee amendment."

    So, Rand Paul won't eat a dog turd, but he'll eat a dog turd with whipped cream on top. Gotcha.

  • Rick Santorum||

    He's shaping up to be a fine 2016 GOP candidate.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    You are certainly the expert when it comes to turds with whipped...er...cream on top.

  • np||

    Yeah unlike Rand, Amish didn't support the amendment because it was already a rendered useless by the exception clause:

    "unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention."

  • Bee Tagger||

    You have to get up pretty early in the morning to out-maverick a maverick.

  • JW||

    "God DAMN IT, Maverick!"

    I pretty much say that every time I see the angry senator from Arizona.

  • ||

    What good would the Lee-Feinstein amendment be? They ignore the bill of rights which already prohibits the NDAA and they think if they tag some weak amendment onto it somehow it will be ok?

    If Feinstein wanted to protect civil rights she would just argue the bill of rights. What a fucking idiot.

  • Rick Santorum||

    If Feinstein wanted to protect civil rights she would just argue the bill of rights.

    You mean the same Feinstein who leaped upon the Connecticut shooting to push gun control legislation?

  • ||

    I didnt say it but yeah, the same one who is stomping on some of the enumerated rights and giving lip service to others.

  • ||

    Wait a minute...Did you just make a valid point Rick?
    You are off of your game buddy.

  • mr simple||

    Someone forgot they were posting under their sockpuppet.

  • Mr Whipple||

    So, does the NDAA authorize indefinite detention of US citizens, or not? Or is this just a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo to give a bunch of high priced attorneys some "busy work"?

  • waaminn||

    There is a dude that seems to know what time it is.

    www.usa-privacy.tk

  • Brian from Texas||

    I'm seriously thinking about running for Congress in 2014. As a Libertarian or Republican I haven't decided yet. Either way I'd probably get stomped because one of my campaign promises would be if elected to call for the impeachment of Obama and every Senator and Representative, of both Parties, who voted for the NDAA, on the charge of treason. The NDAA is a declaration of war by the Federal Government against the American people and therefore the Federal Government are traitors.

  • Free Society||

    h

  • Free Society||

    u

  • Free Society||

    hh

  • Free Society||

    Bills of attainder are verboten. Congress can't just declare someone guilty of something, nor can Congress "punish" them without a judicial trial.

  • Free Society||

    The part about "unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention".... isn't that unconstitutional under the Contracts Clause? Bills of attainder are verboten. Congress can't just declare someone guilty of something, nor can Congress "punish" them without a judicial trial.

  • Free Society||

    The part about "unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention".... isn't that unconstitutional under the Contracts Clause? Bills of attainder are verboten. Congress can't just declare someone guilty of something, nor can Congress "punish" them without a judicial trial.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact. If only one child's life is saved from the terrorists, it will all have been worth it. 9/11 changed everything. Why do you hate America so much?

  • Free Society||

    {The amendment declared, “An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention}

    The part about "unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention".... isn't that unconstitutional under the Contracts Clause? Bills of attainder are verboten. Congress can't just declare someone guilty of something, nor can Congress "punish" them without a judicial trial.

  • John Thacker||

    Conference committees have a ridiculous amount of power. The anti poker clause was completely slipped in by one, for example.

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