Constitution

California Defends Habeas Corpus, Won’t Comply with Indefinite Detention

California Defends Habeas Corpus, Won’t Comply with Indefinite Detention

Here’s a rare piece of positive public policy coming out of The Golden State.

On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law aimed at protecting the right to habeas corpus in his state.

Under the law, “no agency of the State of California, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency, or a political subdivision, of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the California National Guard on official state duty shall knowingly aid an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California pursuant to” the indefinite detention portion of the NDAA.

It also prohibits compliance with the Authorization for Use of Military Force law signed by former President Bush shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

The catch is that a given attempt by the feds to carry out either must be in violation of the California or US Constitution for the state to refuse compliance which, of course, is highly likely. In this light, though, it bans compliance with any federal law that contradicts the state or US Constitution.

For those who didn’t know, President Obama and any future President can indefinitely detain anyone without charges. Of course, Obama signed this law back in 2011 to intimidate anyone that becomes a threat to his power, whether that person is really a terrorist or not.

But, thanks to the new law in California, about 12 percent of the US population will have meaningful protections against Obama’s tyranny. That percentage rises to 15 when considering Alaska and Virginia, which already have similar laws on the books.

Hats off to California for its rare and significant move to defend liberty within its borders. Hopefully, more states will follow and make it more difficult for the federal government to trample on the Constitution.

Photo credit: Flickr/ Steve Jurvetson

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