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Tell the U.S. Senate: Defend My Right to Trial, Amend the NDAA

"[W]e must not sacrifice this most fundamental right in pursuit of greater security, especially when we can achieve security without compromising liberty." - Sen. Mike Lee

The Feinstein-Lee amendment passed 67-29 on Thursday, November 29, 2012. In the event you want to send a letter of thanks or regret to your Senators, we have kept this live. However, please edit the text of your letter so that it reflects the amendment's passage.

A note of clarification on what the amendment accomplished can be found here.

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Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would protect American citizens from being indefinitely detained. The amendment, which is cosponsored by several other Republican and Democratic senators, uses essentially the same language as the Due Process Guarantee Act, which Feinstein and Lee introduced last year. The language of the amendment assures that no authorization to use military force, war declaration, or any similar authority would allow an American apprehended in the United States to be held without charge or trial.

During a discussion of their amendment on the Senate floor, September 28, 2012, Sen. Lee said, “Senator Feinstein and I have worked closely together over the course of the past year to craft what we believe represents a very prudent course in protecting both our nation and our liberties at the same time. Security is important, and precisely because it’s important, it must not be acquired at the expense of our individual liberty. It may well be said that government’s most important basic responsibility is to protect the liberties of its citizens. Our nation has fought wars on American soil and around the world in defense of individual liberty. And we must not sacrifice this most fundamental right in pursuit of greater security, especially when we can achieve security without compromising liberty. The Feinstein-Lee amendment does precisely that.

“We must stand behind our 225-year-old founding document as it’s been amended to ensure our liberty isn’t taken away from us, to give us a path to providing for our security without jeopardizing the freedom that our American citizens cherish so much and have fought so hard and so long to protect. Granting the United States government the power to deprive its own citizens of life, liberty, or property without full due process of law goes against the very nature of our nation’s great constitutional values. This amendment, the Feinstein-Lee amendment, protects those values.”

On the floor, Sen. Feinstein explained, “I want to be very clear about what this amendment is and what it’s not about. It’s not about whether citizens such as [Yaser Esam] Hamdi and [Jose] Padilla or others who would do us harm should be captured, interrogated, incarcerated and severely punished. They should be. But what about an innocent American? What about someone in the wrong place at the wrong time, with the wrong skin color?

The beauty of our Constitution is that it gives everyone in the United States basic due process rights to a trial by a jury of their peers. That is what makes this nation great. As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote for the plurality in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, ‘[A]s critical as the government’s interest may be in detaining those who actually pose an immediate threat to the national security of the United States during ongoing international conflict, history and common sense teach us that an unchecked system of detention carries the potential to become a means for oppression and abuse of others who do not present that sort of threat.’

“The federal government experimented with indefinite detention of United States citizens during World War II, a mistake we now recognize as a betrayal of our core values. Let’s not repeat it.”

Take Action with Conservative Action Alerts -- Sign the Petition and Message Government! Demand your U.S. Senator to SUPPORT the Feinstein-Lee Amendment to the NDAA and Defend the Right to Trial!

Source: Feinstein, Lee Introduce Amendment to Protect Civil Liberties

Public Comments
Nov 29th, 2012
Keith L. from Redford, MI signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Haltom City, TX signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Nancy S. from Petaluma, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Beverly G. from Raleigh, NC writes:
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I am really getting scared of my own government these days when you have people in power that think they can tear the constitution to shreds. They attack our 1st admendment rights, they attack our 2nd admendment rights and now this? It is a disgrace that these kinds of people have been voted into office by country loving American citizens. We have a man sitting in the white house that doesn't get or like our American concept of life and wants to control every aspect of it. We don't have a president to supress our rights he/she is supposed to defend our rights. The president takes an oath to uphold the contstitution not try to circumvent it to his/her liking. Vote no on this and any other bill that tries to change our constitution.
Nov 29th, 2012
Charyl N. from Marion, IA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Dominic G. from Graham, WA writes:
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Upholding the Constitution of the United States was in the Oath you took. If you can't do that, give up your job!
Nov 29th, 2012
Johnny Z. from Palmdale, CA writes:
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I support the Feinstein-Lee Amendment to the NDAA.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Pittsburgh, PA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Merlin W. from Augusta, KS signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Stephen B. from Oakdale, NY writes:
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What other rights or liberties will the government try and take from the American people next?
Nov 29th, 2012
Donald C. from Dunlap, TN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
William B. from Hubbard, OR signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Goshen, IN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Shirley, NY signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Raymond R. from Albuquerque, NM signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Evan E. from West Hollywood, CA writes:
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Lets keep our Constitution the way our founding Forefathers crafted it and don't mess with it!! It is the Law of the Land and we All here should honor it and abide by it and understand it fully if we are truly Americans for this Country.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Fort Thomas, KY signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Gary K. from Glasgow, VA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Bellevue, WA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Marg M. from Ashburn, VA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Scot C. from Ruther Glen, VA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Dale M. from Pittsburgh, PA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Robert J W. from Kerrville, TX signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Helen C. from Tonganoxie, KS signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Dawn W. from San Angelo, TX writes:
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Protect and defend the Constitution of the United States!!!!
Nov 29th, 2012
Stephen & Anne F. from Poplarville, MS writes:
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Government is getting too big-and too nosey!
Nov 29th, 2012
Bob L. from Youngstown, OH signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Leland C. from Amarillo, TX signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Patricia H. from Dallas, TX signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
William S. from Newport News, VA signed.