Liberty wins in legislative committee

April 9, 2013

By Katy Grimes

California flag

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, won one for the good guys today. But it’s just the opening round.

AB 351 by Donnelly, The California Liberty Preservation Act, would declare indefinite detention of an California citizen, a violation of both the California and  U.S. Constitutions.

The bill was passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee by a vote of 6-0.

According to Donnelly, AB 351 will protect Californians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair and speedy trial and to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty against the broad federal powers granted by the National Defense Authorization Act.

“The NDAA gives the executive branch—under not only President Obama, but also every future president—unprecedented power to detain US citizens without due process. This runs counter to the very principles that make America great, and violates our nation’s commitment to the rule of law,” said Donnelly in a press statement.

“In states around the country, legislation is being considered which would severely hamper or even fully block any attempt to arrest and detain people without due process,” the Washington Times recently reported. “In Michigan, Montana, Texas and California, votes are coming up soon to move such bills forward.”

Donnelly’s primary concern with the National Defense Authorization Act was it gave the federal government authority to detain indefinitely anyone accused of terrorism, including American citizens. Shockingly, this label of terrorism has been applied to American anti-war protestors to people in the Tea Party.

Signed into law December 2011 by President Obama, the NDAA gave the federal government the power to “indefinitely detain” people, including US citizens, with no due process and no access to lawyers, the Washington Times found.

The federal Act therefore could easily allow for a future President to silence dissenters and deny the 1st Amendment.

AB 351 would prohibit California law enforcement from cooperating with any federal authority attempting to impose the Unconstitutional provisions of NDAA in California.

“We have a moral duty to protect Californians from the disastrous consequences made possible by NDAA,” Donnelly said. “When Constitutional protections are ignored, racist hysteria allows vulnerable groups to be targeted. It was not long ago we memorialized the tragedy of Japanese American internment camps on the floor of the California State Assembly. I am grateful for today’s committee vote, which shows Californians that their representatives are serious about ensuring similar violations of freedom and human rights abuses never happen again within our State.

The bill was heavily amended, but the intent was not removed.

Read Donnelly’s press statement here.  The bill is headed for the Assembly Appropriations Committee next.

Related Articles

Oakland violent crimes No. 3 in country

Jan. 13, 2013 By Katy Grimes A tiny blurb tucked away on page A4 of the Sunday Sacramento Bee today,

Assembly bill would extend ‘cradle-to-career’ state education

May 21, 2013 By Katy Grimes SACRAMENTO — Some California educators want to educate your children “cradle-to-career.” In support of President