Bill that would criminalize the indefinite detainment of U.S. citizens risks defeat in Washington State Senate
Several states are currently fighting back against the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that declares the U.S. a battleground and permits the indefinite detainment of citizens without a trial.
Washington state's version, the "Preservation of Liberty Act," was introduced on Jan. 31 in the State House and a day later in the State Senate.
In order for the bills to reach the floor for a vote in their respective chambers, they must first receive and pass a committee hearing.
The House Committee on Safety's chair Rep. Roger Goodman (D) has scheduled a hearing for the House version on Feb. 21, a day before the deadline.
The version in the Senate Committee on Law and Justice chaired by Sen. Mike Padden (R) has not received a hearing date, and according to Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D), the author of the Senate bill, it does not look like it will.
News of the introduction of the House version went viral on the Internet, causing supporters to pressure representatives to co-sponsor the bill and the committee chair to give it a hearing.
Washington State Tenth Amendment Center's Amanda Bowers speaks about the importance of the "Preservation of Liberty Act" in Washington:
The language in the 2012 NDAA is scarily vague and undefined. It opens a wide door for who the president can detain. It's naive to think it can't affect you, or your loved ones.
Habeas Corpus has been around since the Magna Carta. Do we want to be the generation of Americans that turns our backs on it?
If the Senate's version fails to receive a hearing, the success of the legislation will rely solely on the outcome of the House's version.
The House Committee on Safety hearing is open to the public and scheduled to take place on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. in Olympia, Wash.