Regardless of where you stand politically, you probably have some very strong feelings on the NDAA and it’s provision that will allow the government to indefinitely detain someone because they’re a “terrorist”. The NDAA managed to make it through both chambers of Congress (remember that one is controlled by Democrats, the other by Republicans) and was signed into law on December 31, 2011, effectively killing due process.
However, some politicians aren’t exactly done fighting this one. In Virginia, we have House Bill No. 1160. That bill reads:
§ 1. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, no agency of the Commonwealth as defined in § 8.01-385 of the Code of Virginia, political subdivision of the Commonwealth as defined in § 8.01-385 of the Code of Virginia, employee of either acting in his official capacity, or any member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, when such a member is serving in the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force on official state duty, may engage in any activity that aids an agency of or the armed forces of the United States in the execution of 50 U.S.C. 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 112-18, § 1021) in the investigation, prosecution, or detainment of any citizen of the United States in violation of Article I, Section 8 or 11 of the Constitution of Virginia.
Basically, the law says no non-federal law enforcement office or military member can arrest someone under the provisions of the NDAA. Of course, that doesn’t stop federal troops or federal agents from making such arrests, but as there are finite numbers of federal agents and we don’t routinely see federal troops deployed at this point in time, it definitely blunts the impact of the NDAA in Virginia…should it pass.
However, Virginia isn’t alone in this one. The state of Washington has House Bill 2759 up for consideration. It has language very similar to Virginia’s proposed law, but ups the ante into outright nullification of that provision of the NDAA:
No member of the armed forces of the United States of America, nor any person acting directly with, or on behalf of, the armed forces of the United States of America, shall be permitted to conduct within the boundaries of the state of Washington, an investigation or detainment of a United States citizen or lawful resident alien located within the state of Washington except for (1) an investigation or detainment by the United States coast guard when it is not operating as a service in the navy, (2) an investigation or detainment by national guard units or state defense forces while under the authority of the governor of the state of Washington, or (3) an internal investigation or detainment by the armed forces of the United States of America of active duty members of the armed forces of the United States of America.
It should be interesting to first see if either/both of these pass and whether other states follow suit, and second to see what, if any, federal response will be. Nullification isn’t known to have the strongest track record, but this could be the concepts time to shine.
Now to pop some popcorn and see what happens. Personally, I hope all 50 states go a route similar to Washington’s. I’m not holding my breath, but a guy can dream, can’t he?