Share:

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.

**

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 3rd, 2012
mary anne b. from Haverford, PA writes:
Quotation mark icon
thank GOD we still have real patriots in the U>S> feinstein ,lee and rand paul!!!!!!!!!!
Dec 3rd, 2012
Pat C. from Clemmons, NC signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Paul B. from Aurora, IL signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Sharon H. from Calhan, CO signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
jamie l. from Bastrop, LA signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Michael W. from Roswell, NM signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Glenna C. from Stuarts Draft, VA writes:
Quotation mark icon
We have a constitution we have gone by for years.It is the best and we do not want ANYONE changing it.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Someone from Largo, FL signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Someone from Salem, OR signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Vernon B. from Roy, WA signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Frank N. from Campbellsport, WI signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
PETER W. from Franklin, NC signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Someone from Pensacola, FL signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
David L. from Bulverde, TX writes:
Quotation mark icon
Now if we could only lock up corrupt politicians and throw away the key instead of guaranteeing them a retirement, That would be worth voting for!
Dec 3rd, 2012
David L. from Bulverde, TX writes:
Quotation mark icon
Now if we could only lock up corrupt politicians and throw away the key! That would be worth voting for!
Dec 3rd, 2012
Someone from Santee, CA signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Isaac G. from Tiskilwa, IL signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
fredrick l. from Yonkers, NY signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
fredrick l. from Yonkers, NY signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Todd S. from Sioux City, IA signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
Marla R. from Phoenix, AZ signed.
Dec 3rd, 2012
JAMES D. from Elverta, CA signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
JAMES D. from Elverta, CA signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
James W. from Las Vegas, NV writes:
Quotation mark icon
Do not touch the Filabuster!!!!!
Dec 2nd, 2012
Someone from Wheeling, WV signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Raymond J. from Torrington, CT signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Paula D. from Roanoke, VA signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Shawn C. from Pomfret Center, CT writes:
Quotation mark icon
Every one should have the right to be judged by a jury of their peers.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Matthew G. from Mauston, WI signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Linda G. from Mauston, WI signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Joseph B. from Bloomington, IL signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Jennifer G. from Bloomington, IL signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Gina G. from Chicago, IL signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Kenneth G. from Mauston, WI signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Someone from Palm Beach, FL signed.
Dec 2nd, 2012
Dale L. from Mesa, AZ signed.
Dec 1st, 2012
Someone from Maynard, MA signed.
Dec 1st, 2012
Alice C. from Poughkeepsie, NY signed.
Dec 1st, 2012
Kelly G. from Fort Myers, FL signed.
Dec 1st, 2012
Aleck C. from New Bedford, MA signed.