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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
Dec 5th, 2012
Jim H. from Springfield, OH writes:
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Thanks for this effort. However, WHY did our potus do this in the first place ?? SCARES ME !!!
Dec 5th, 2012
Bryon H. from Clarendon, NC signed.
Dec 5th, 2012
Ron C. from Fort Worth, TX writes:
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Dear Senator Lee: Two items: 1)Thanks for looking out for our Constitutional Rights. I appreciate the amendment to the unconstitutional (as I read it) NDAA. Here's my question: If the Constitution won't protect my rights, why should I think an amendment to the NDAA will protect my rights? 2)I hear a lot of folks claiming the U.N. Small Arms Treaty will nullify the Second Amendment if ratified by the senate. Such a treaty would violate the Constitution (as I read it). The way to change the Constitution which includes The Bill of Rights is by a Constitutional Amendment. I say a treaty can't nullify The Bill of Rights and that a treaty must not have any unconstitutional content. Please reply with your views on these two points. Thanks again Sir. . . .
Dec 5th, 2012
Justin L. from Ponca City, OK writes:
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Everyone should and will have a right to trial. There would be to many innocent people put in the wrong place... Instead of letting them back with there family's where they belong. So Everyone you are the protectors from this heinous and outrageousness of trying to pass this in any form or stature.
Dec 4th, 2012
Barry T. from Hillsdale, NY writes:
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First step in righting many wrongs of recent years; thank you! Please continue to reverse the seizure of our rights.
Dec 4th, 2012
Someone from Houston, TX writes:
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"go" Lee, -from Utah, right!
Dec 4th, 2012
Someone from Houston, TX signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Lois P. from Phoenix, AZ signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
douglas k. from Reno, NV signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Someone from Bridgewater, NJ signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Jon H. from Miami, FL signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
robert m. from Linwood, NC signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Someone from Palm Harbor, FL writes:
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It amazes me I have to write to ask you to defend my God given rights!
Dec 4th, 2012
John D. from Seymour, WI signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Eleanor C. from Cincinnati, OH signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Sara S. from Spring, TX signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Tom D. from Easley, SC signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Someone from Nags Head, NC signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Patrick K. from Sterling, CO signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Richard S. from Hye, TX writes:
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As a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, I regret to say I've lost all respect for you. I don't understand.
Dec 4th, 2012
Karen M. from Marshfield Hills, MA writes:
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I WANT THE RIGHT TO TRIAL. DEFEND OUR RIGHTS NOW.
Dec 4th, 2012
james c. from Pflugerville, TX signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Glenn V. from Stuart, FL signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Dan L. from Salem, OR writes:
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Sen McCain.. be a man and show some guts to stand against Reids bullying tactics. I am dissappointed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Roger S. from Suisun City, CA signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Mary K W. from Bedford, TX writes:
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If any of you yellow livered Rino's (including Sen. John McCain) vote with Harry Reid to end the filibuster, you should be drummed out oof office. You are a worthless bunch of dung! I'm 78 yrs. old and I have never seen so many dishonest, disgusting legislator's, in my life. Worthless doesn't even discribe your lot! You make me sick.......
Dec 4th, 2012
Marilyn H. from Louisville, CO signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Sharon Y. from Botkins, OH writes:
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Shame on you for turning you back on America! We are fragile right now and on the verge of being a totalitarian state! EVERY word counts! You have not only betrayed America, but you betray your Young heritage. Our brave Young ancestors would never be the RINO you are!
Dec 4th, 2012
James S. from Muncie, IN signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Nancy E. from Ottumwa, IA writes:
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please do NOT give in to harry reids fillabuster reform. please GET A BACKBONE, not a spagetti bone. THANKYOU.
Dec 4th, 2012
Yvonne L. from Torrance, CA signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
john d. from Brooklyn, NY signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Raffaele C. from Killeen, TX writes:
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The CONSTITUTION , The BIBLE The GUN : IT IS THE LAW OF THE LAND.
Dec 4th, 2012
Mike M. from Twentynine Palms, CA signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Someone from Irvine, CA signed.
Dec 4th, 2012
Martin F. from Zimmerman, MN signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Someone from North Port, FL signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Martha E. from Lone Oak, TX writes:
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This needs to be supported before BO and his adminstration jepordize us all and says we have no rights. They continually ignore the constitution and seems do what ever pleases them. It is also time to put a stop to BO's excecutive orders. He must like to write and sign his name as he continues to issue them.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Someone from Greenwood, LA signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Teddy M. from Midland, TX signed.