Would Bar Virginia Agencies, Employees from Aiding Unlimited Federal Detention of Citizens  RICHMOND, March 16 – U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R., Tenn.) has asked Gov. Bob McDonnell to sign Delegate Bob Marshall’s bill barring Virginia government agencies and employees from aiding in unlimited federal detention of United States citizens without criminal charges or court hearings.

“It is my sincere hope that you will join me and other freedom-loving Americans in support of HB 1160 by signing it into law.” Sen. Paul wrote to McDonnell in a letter dated yesterday.

“The Father of the Constitution and the architect of the Bill of Rights, Virginia’s own James Madison, would be proud of Virginia’s General Assembly for passing HB 1160.  This bill defends Virginians’ constitutional rights by prohibiting any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting in the arrest and detention of American citizens indefinitely, without charges, without legal counsel, and without a trial.”

Sen. Paul, a medical doctor elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, is the son of U.S. Rep.  Ron Paul (R., Texas), who is a candidate for this year’s Republican presidential nomination.

Marshall (R, Manassas) was provided a copy of Paul’s letter yesterday.

The General Assembly passed Marshall’s HB 1160 last week following extensive parliamentary maneuvering in the closing days of its session.  Final votes were 37-1 in the State Senate and 96-4 in the House of Delegates.  The bill awaits McDonnell’s decision on whether to sign it.  There are indications he is reluctant to do so.

Sen. Paul, in his letter, notes that Marshall’s bill specifically addresses the federal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Paul asserts “greatly expands the power and scope of the federal government to fight the War on Terror by codifying into law the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without trial.”

“Under the NDAA,” Sen. Paul wrote, “the President and military are given the power to carry out domestic anti-terrorism operations on U.S. soil and to detain even U.S. citizens without trial

Sen. Paul noted that “of particular concern” to him is NDAA’s obscure Section 1021 authorizing the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force,” which “includes the authority of the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons … pending disposition under the law of war.”

“I find this to be especially worrisome given that we are engaged in a war that seems to have no end,” Sen. Paul wrote.  “The rights we give up now may never be restored.  The NDAA attempts to repeal fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution, and flies in the face of bedrock principles of liberty that pre-date even the Magna Carta. …

“Virginia is one among many other States taking action against the NDAA’s unconstitutional provisions. Many of my own constituents and others across America have informed me that they applaud the Virginia General Assembly for taking the lead in passing this important legislation.

NOTE: A copy of Sen. Rand Paul's letter is attached. You may download it here.


Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information:

Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213

Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions)