California rarely does anything right when it comes to liberty. But just as certain flowers bloom only once a decade, so does the CA Senate rule to protect the liberties of those within the confines of its state, rather than stifle them.
The California State Senate Public Safety Committee has given AB351 a “do-pass” – meaning that it will now be pushed forward to a Senate appropriations committee, then a vote in the Senate. AB351 is a bill expressly written by Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly to strike down the indefinite detention cited in the NDAA as well as in any other federal laws that would include indefinite detention for citizens. The bill was originally titled “The California Liberty Preservation Act,” though that looks to have been stricken from the text in the latest version (which you can read the text of and track here). Some excerpts from the bill:
The bill would also prohibit local entities from knowingly using state funds and funds allocated by the state to those local entities on and after January 1, 2013, to engage in any activity that aids an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in the detention of any person within California for purposes of implementing Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA or the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force , if that activity would violate the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, or any law of this state, as specified.
It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California.
States have the power to reject federal laws, and cannot be coerced or bullied into complying. As the Tenth Amendment Center points out, this has been affirmed in the Supreme Court numerous times.
In the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
In the 1997 case, Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers.
In the 2012 case, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled that a significant expansion of Medicaid was not a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, as it would coerce states to either accept the expansion or risk losing existing Medicaid funding.
In each of these cases, the Supreme Court made is quite clear that their opinion is that the federal government cannot require the states to act, or even coerce them to act through a threat to lose funding. Their opinion is correct. If the feds pass a law, they can sure try to enforce it if they want. But the states absolutely do not have to help them in any way.
Hopefully other states take California’s lead and run with it, essentially nullifying this aspect of a bill that should have never been passed in the first place.