Why we Need the Liberty Preservation Act

The Pennsylvania Liberty Preservation Act

SB 999

Prime sponsor:  Senator Mike Folmer

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The enactment into law by the United States Congress of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (the “NDAA”), Public Law 7 Number 112-81, is inimical to the liberty, security and well-being of the people of Pennsylvania.  These sections of the NDAA codify for the first time in U.S. history the claimed power of the President of the United States to seize and detain a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil and hold him indefinitely without charge and without trial. 

Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA expanded the authority provided by the Authorization of Use of Military Force Act of 2001 for the U.S. military to seize, not just actual “enemy combatants” as the 2001 law authorized, but also persons suspected of “supporting” al-Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces” and to detain such persons indefinitely without charge or trial.  The NDAA does not include provisions prohibiting the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens or prohibiting indefinite detentions from occurring on U.S. soil.

Sections 1021 and 1022 empower the President to use the Law of War, including indefinite detention, against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.  This contravenes many of our most important and oldest rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.  The Constitution requires U.S. citizens suspected of making war against the U.S. or of giving aid or comfort to our enemies to be arrested only upon probable case, charged with treason and prosecuted in civilian (not military) courts and afforded the full array of "due process" rights enshrined in our Constitution. 

The solution to the problem created by the NDAA is for Pennsylvanians to petition the U.S. Congress to repeal sections 1021 and 1022 and affirm that the Rule of Law and the full panoply of Constitutional rights must be afforded to U.S. citizens even those suspected of being involved with al-Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”  In the meantime, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through passage of the Liberty Preservation Act, can send a clear message to Washington, D.C.. – the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refuses to comply with or assist the U.S. Government in implementing the indefinite detention sections of the NDAA. 

The Liberty Preservation Act prohibits any state, county or local official, employee or agent from providing material support or participating in any way with the implementation of sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Any state, county or local official, employee or agent who does provide material support or participates in any way with the implementation of the NDAA commits a misdemeanor offense and shall upon conviction be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

Several states throughout the United States have taken similar action.  The first state to pass an “anti-NDAA” bill is the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Virginia’s “NDAA Nullification Act” became law effective July 1st, 2012.  The Michigan House and Senate have passed an NDAA nullification bill.  Montana passed an NDAA nullification bill with a veto-proof majority.  Indiana and South Carolina have experienced victories for their respective “anti-NDAA” bills as they passed senate committee hearings.  At least 10 other states are currently battling to reach the same threshold.  Those states include Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington state.

Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 violate the following rights enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America:

      (i)         The right to seek a writ of ProShapeRX habeas corpus found in Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of                                 the United States Constitution;

      (ii)        The First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances;

      (iii)       The Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures;

      (iv)       The Fifth Amendment right to be free from charge for an infamous or capital crime                                 until presentment or indictment by a grand jury;

      (v)        The Fifth Amendment right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty or property,                             without due process of law;

      (vi)       The Sixth Amendment right in criminal prosecutions to enjoy a speedy trial by an                              impartial jury in the state and district where the crime shall have been committed;

      (vii)      The Sixth Amendment right to be informed of the nature and cause of the                                         accusation;

      (viii)      The Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses;

      (ix)       The Sixth Amendment right to counsel;

      (x)        The Eighth Amendment right to be free from excessive bail and fines and cruel and                           unusual punishment;

      (xi)       The Fourteenth Amendment right to be free from deprivation of life, liberty or                            property, without due process of law.

Furthermore, the above-stated Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 violate the following rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

      (i)         Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section I – all men are born equally                                   free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among                            which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing                                  and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness;

      (ii)        Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section 6 – trial by jury shall be as                              heretofore, and the right thereof remain inviolate…

      (iii)       Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section 8 – the people shall be secure                               in their persons, houses, papers and possession from unreasonable searches and                                 seizures, and no warrant to search any place or to seize any person or things shall                             issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause,                                 supported by oath or affirmation subscribed by the affiant;

      (iv)       Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section 9 – In all criminal                                      prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an      impartial jury of the vicinage; he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty or property, unless by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land...

      (v)        Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section 13 – Excessive bail shall not                                  be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted;

      (vi)       Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section 14 – All prisoners shall be                               bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses or for offenses for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or unless no condition or combination of conditions other than imprisonment will reasonably assure the safety of any person and the community when the proof is evident or presumption great; and the        privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it. 


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Liberty Preservation Act Introduced

Republican Liberty Caucus of Pennsylvania

Announces Liberty Preservation Act (SB999)

Makes It Unlawful to Comply with NDAA in Commonwealth

            The Republican Liberty Caucus of Pennsylvania (RLCPa), in conjunction with the Tenth Amendment Center and State Senator Mike Folmer announce the introduction of Senate Bill 999, the “Liberty Preservation Act.”  The bill would make it unlawful for employees of the Commonwealth to assist federal officials in the implementation of sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.)

          Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA codify for the first time in U.S. history the claimed power of the President of the United States to seize and detain a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil and hold him indefinitely without charge and without trial.

          “These sections violate at least eleven of our Constitutional due process rights,” stated RLC NDAA Project Leader and Harrisburg attorney Marc Scaringi

            Think it can’t happen here?  It already has.

          In 1942, the U.S. military issued Electronic Cigarette an order which began the forced evacuation of 100,000 Japanese-American citizens for no other reason than they were of Japanese descent. 

          “My parents-in-law were in those camps,” stated RLCPa Chair Lois Kaneshiki.  “These are people who didn’t want to learn or speak Japanese at home as children with their Japanese-speaking parents because they wanted to be viewed as Americans first.”

          More recently, it took a month and a half and a 13-hour filibuster by Senator Paul to get Attorney General Holder to tell us whether or not the president has the authority to use a drone to kill a U.S. citizen not engaged in combat.

          Senator Folmer stated, “I believe the indefinite detention of American citizens or others without providing them due process of law is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. This is why I introduced legislation to prohibit state, county, and local agencies from complying with NDAA:  to protect Pennsylvanians’ due process rights.”