North Texas libertarians who have been closely following the state's NDAA nullification bill are aware that HB 149, "The Texas Liberty Preservation Act," was routed to the Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility Committee on Wednesday, February 6.
Friday the Tenth Amendment Center put out an Action Alert asking Texans to contact the committee members to express their support for this legislation.
The bill is designed to stop indefinite detention by nullifying two sections of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The bill imposes criminal penalties of one year in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for any federal agent who would attempt to carry out such an "indefinite detention" within the state of Texas.
Under NDAA the federal government claims the right to detain anyone identified as a "covered person" that it suspects of being involved in terrorist activities. But Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA offer only vague definitions for nearly all of its most important provisions. Some examples include:
- Fails to clarify who is a "covered person" while offering no protection from unlawful seizures, arrests, or confinement;
- Words like "any person," "belligerent act" or "hostilities" are subjective and ambiguous;
- The phrase "Detention under the law of war" is unenforceable since Congress has not passed a declaration of war;
- Detainment without trial violates the Constitutional right to a speedy trial and any off-shore trial in a "United Nations international court" violates the right to a trial by one’s peers.
In December Texas LP's Kathie Glass told Dallas Libertarian News "While we support all efforts in the upcoming legislative session to declare unconstitutional acts null and void, real change will come when those statutes define the penalty for attempts to enforce those unconstitutional acts accompanied by the will and commitment to actually enforce those penalties."
The bill has the penalties; will politicians have the will?
Reps from two Metroplex districts are members of the Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility Committee: Republican Rep. Scott Turner represents District 33 that includes portions of Collin and all of Rockwall Counties, and Republican Rep Cindy Burkett represents District 113 in far Eastern Dallas.
North Texans are encouraged to contact their Representatives in Austin and express support for HB 149:
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