House of Delegates vote rejecting the Senate amendments to HB 1160, Unlawful detention of United States citizens

STATEMENT OF: Delegate Bob Marshall SUBJECT: House of Delegates vote rejecting the Senate amendments to HB 1160, Unlawful detention of United States citizens

DATE: Tuesday, Marcy 6, 2012

I am disturbed by the secretive, backdoor way in which my HB 1160 is being “handled” by the Governor’s office.

My legislation seeks to keep Virginia from participating in the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens with no criminal records, no trial, no legal counsel, no charges and no day in court under the federal National Defense Authorization Act.

It is very disturbing that, after three days of refusing to address HB 1160, the House of Delegates has rejected the Senate amendments in order to send the bill to a conference committee to “work out” differences between the House and Senate versions.

The Governor’s office opposed the bill in its original form and seems to have concerns about the Senate version, as well. The Governor’s office has never consulted me, the author of HB 1160, or Senator Chap Petersen, the author of the Senate amendments, but instead has relayed concerns to Delegate Tim Hugo, chairman of the House Republican Caucus. The Governor’s office now claims support for HB 1160 but has “concerns,” none of which were communicated to me or to Sen. Petersen.

Today, after three days of stalling tactics that caused outraged Virginians to contact their delegates, I finally got a House of Delegates vote on HB 1160, but I am distressed that this most recent maneuver might be an effort to kill the bill by sending it to a conference committee “never never land.”

The U.S. Constitution provides for suspending habeus corpus in the event of invasion, but Congress did not reference that provision when it passed NDAA. That provision, and a similar one in the Virginia Constitution, are what separates us from the likes of Nazis, Communists and other totalitarian governments.

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NOTE: Virginia Legislative Information Service description of HB 1160

Unlawful detention of United States citizens. Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.

Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information: Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213 Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions)