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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 30th, 2012
Bryon H. from Clarendon, NC signed.
Nov 30th, 2012
Jackie O. from Spokane, WA writes:
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THIS AMENDMENT MUST BE APPROVED AS THE NDAA BILL ITS SELF IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL SO AMENDMENT TO REDUCE THE EFFECT OF THIS (NDAA) NEEDS TO BE APPROVED
Nov 30th, 2012
Judy S. from Lancaster, OH signed.
Nov 30th, 2012
Ray S. from Lancaster, OH signed.
Nov 30th, 2012
Someone from Newtown, PA writes:
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This is an alarming indication of how far from our Constitution our leadership has gone. This president has indicated he has no regard for our personal liberties or our national sovereignty. He needs to be stopped!!
Nov 30th, 2012
Someone from Yonkers, NY signed.
Nov 30th, 2012
Someone from Miami, FL signed.
Nov 30th, 2012
sarah c. from Panama City, FL signed.
Nov 30th, 2012
Frances G. from Sacramento, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Patricia H. from Felton, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Roy T. from Redlands, CA writes:
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May I remind the Senators of the oath they solemnly took upon assumption of their seat in Congress: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. Remember that it is the Constitution that must be defended above all against terrorism. Please, courageously affirm the right to trial by jury in all circumstances. Don't let the terrorists win by giving in to any fear.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Fort Wayne, IN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Paul H. from Cedar Rapids, IA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Lois M. from Jackson, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
LEN RICHARD E. from Costa Mesa, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Orlando, FL signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Daniel T. from French Lick, IN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
FRED L. from Salinas, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
john s. from Hillman, MN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Lorin J. from Still River, MA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Ann A. from Richardson, TX writes:
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Stop taking our rights from us!
Nov 29th, 2012
Jim P. from Selden, NY signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Steven F. from Steubenville, OH signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Terry W. from Aurora, MO signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Je M. from Panama City, FL signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
taylor h. from Salt Lake City, UT signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Richard H. from Fillmore, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Kenneth S. from Cortland, IL writes:
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Senator's! Try reading the 4th, 5th and 6th Articles of the Bill of rights, part of the Constitution of the United States, the Supreme Law of the Land. The document you took a sworn oath to preserve and defend! And if I remember correctly in the law books, specifically the "Sixteenth American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Section 177, Second late Edition section 256". An excerpt from the aforementioned, " A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, in so far as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it." P.S. "Trust No One Who Supports Or Enforces Unconstitutional Law, For They Are Enemies Of A Free People."
Nov 29th, 2012
Daniel D. from Las Vegas, NV signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
RJ C. from Tampa, FL signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Spencer H. from Centerville, UT signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Andrew B. from Corpus Christi, TX signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Mr & Mrs Billy K. from Mason, TX signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Martin F. from Lafayette, LA writes:
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"Long live the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES!"
Nov 29th, 2012
Diane R. from Charlotte, NC signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Angleton, TX writes:
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I expect our elected officials to start paying attention and protect us or we will be forced to protect ourselves. You work for US. Do your job! I demand that the congress start taking care of "we the people". I expect you to support the amendment to the NDAA and have a right to trial. What I would rather see is NDAA removed COMPLETELY. Our civil liberties are being chipped away one at a time. Leave our Constitution alone.
Nov 29th, 2012
Terri D. from Houston, TX writes:
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Thank you. It is very important that every American citizen be alert @ this time.
Nov 29th, 2012
Cleveland M. from Madisonville, KY signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Janet M. from Smiths Station, AL signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Lisa G. from Goldendale, WA writes:
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We are guaranteed our Constitutional Bill of Rights for seriously valid reasons, which the NDAA solidly violates!!