Tennessee State House and Senate Working to Stop Indefinite Detention

By on March 13, 2013
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by Shane Trejo

Two bills have been introduced in the Tennessee legislature to stop the indefinite detention provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act from being complied with by local and state law enforcement officials.

House Bill 1059 and Senate Bill 1290 were introduced on Feb. 11 and Feb. 14, respectively. They were referred to the State Government Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee where they currently await further action. HB 1059 was sponsored by Rep. Rogers (R-Goodlettsville) with seven more House members adding their support. SB 1290 was sponsored by Sen. Summerville (R-Dickson).

HB 1059 says, “Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no agency of this state, political subdivision acting in his or her official capacity, member of the Tennessee National Guard on official state duty or member of the Tennessee state guard and civil air patrol shall aid an agency of the armed forces in any investigation, prosecution or detention of any United States citizen pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act of fiscal year 2012.” The Senate Bill contains the same text.

Although these bills do not interpose any criminal penalties for feds who try to kidnap Americans without proper legal protections, they do get the incredibly important idea of non-compliance to federal laws out there to Tennesseans. These bills are a firm stand against the dangerous idea promulgated all too often that the states wield nothing more than vestigial power and are meant to acquiesce to whatever their federal masters dictate to them, no matter how obviously unjust it is.

Sadly, there are still many voices of the soon-to-be obsolete political establishment spewing the same old tired nonsense in opposition. A great example of this is Tennessee State House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner. He said to the Knoxville News Sentinel that “[Republicans and Democrats] need to show some courage to put these extremists in line. … There are extremists in both political parties. A lot of their extremists got elected to the Legislature. Our extremists didn’t get elected to the Legislature.”

Turner is once again regurgitating the meme that anyone who dares to fight back against unconstitutional federal power-grabs is some type of lunatic or extremist. But the good news is that our presence is making the worst within our political scene show their true colors. Turner and his ilk are proving with their words and their actions to be people who do not have the slightest bit of concern about protecting the natural rights of those whom they represent.

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