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CAN STATES’ RIGHTS RISE AGAIN?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 28, 2013) — On the heels of several other anti-NDAA ordinances and resolutions passed by towns and cities recently around the nation, Michigan has become the first state to pass a law granting statewide authorities and agencies the ability refuse to cooperate with federal forces wishing to detain a citizen without formal charges.
The bill was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday.
Section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act declared that the U.S. military could perform “Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”
The provision does not exclude U.S. citizens within the United States. The full text of the law, which was signed on December 31, 2011, can be read here: NDAA
The wording of the bill states that its purpose is to “prohibit any agency of this state, any political subdivision of this state, any employee of any agency of this state or any political subdivision of this state, or any member of the Michigan national guard from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the investigation, prosecution, or detainment of any citizen of the United States under certain circumstances.”
Founded by Dan Johnson early in 2012, the organization People Against the NDAA (PANDA) has promoted citizen engagement on the issue in every state, with successful banning of the indefinite detention provision in Webster, MA; Oxford, MA; Emmett, ID; and Albany, NY.
PANDA also objects to Section 1022 of the 2012 NDAA, which “affords the option to have U.S. citizens detained by the armed forces.” The ACLU also objects to the wording of the NDAA and has worked to promote resolutions opposing it.
The Washington Times reported that the Michigan bill stemmed from a 1996 U.S. Supreme Court case, Printz v. United States, in which the court ruled that “state legislatures are not subject to federal direction.” One of the plaintiffs on the case was former Sheriff Richard Mack, a constitutional speaker and author of The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope.
The Tenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.”
NDAA bills have been passed for 2013 and earlier this month for 2014.
During discussions among the Framers in 1787, representatives from the states created the federal government. The Federalists and Anti-Federalists debated over how much power a centralized government should have, with the Anti-Federalists arguing for a separate Bill of Rights prior to ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
On December 3, a panel of constitutional scholars presented their views to members of the House Judiciary Committee on presidential overreach and whether or not federal agencies have usurped powers not granted to them by the Constitution.
The issue of states’ rights over those of the union was a major issue leading up to the American Civil War.
Prior to his death in July 2009, radio host and columnist Alan Stang had predicted a strengthening of power within the individual states as they rose up against federal overreach and encroachment. This write recalls Stang saying that the states’ standing up to the federal government would be an “exciting” thing to witness.