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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
francis f. from Pinellas Park, FL writes:
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We do not want another germany or russia,get rid of the stalins and hitlers in AMERICA.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Ovid, MI signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
S R B. from Poseyville, IN writes:
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I beg our Congress to stay alert to everything designed to take our liberties away and help stop them.
Nov 29th, 2012
Cynd J. from Stockbridge, GA writes:
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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. We the people are seeing and we are watching. 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!
Nov 29th, 2012
Lyle M. from Lynchburg, VA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Aida M. from Kissimmee, FL signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Grant G. from Ripon, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Robert R. from Cozad, NE signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Martha D. from Hood, VA writes:
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Our representatives are elected to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Do not dishonor your oath of office.
Nov 29th, 2012
william m. from Freehold, NJ signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Linda E. from Oilton, OK signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Edward S. from Clarkdale, GA writes:
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For decades now both parties have slowly chiseled away at our American freedoms and to be truthful I'm disgusted by. I am a true believer that people that crave power will do so by stepping on everybody they can to get there! It is past time that our government obeys their oaths of office and leave our bill of rights alone, every one of them! I'm a disabled 54 year old man who for the first time in my life i'm worried about the direction my government is going. when one branch of us 3 branch government takes more power than the other 2 it becomes a dictatorship and it must and now support this amendment. also why were at it, leave all of the Bill of Rights alone especially our second Amendment that protects all our freedoms we are a armed citizenry and that's why we are the strongest nation in the world! Now many administrations have been bad at protecting our freedoms but the Obama administration has been by far the most abusive than all the others. No branch of our government has the right to disobey their oaths and sell us out to the United Nations, our gun rights are solid and set in stone so why is Obama so determined to steal our guaranteed right from we the people? All he is doing is creating fear not jobs as promised, AGAIN!!! When is he going to learn, he and all of them in our Government works for we the people. Remind him and everyone they swore an oath in front of God and men it's time he governs as such Defend the Constitution, NOW!!! God save your Republic, Amen!
Nov 29th, 2012
Charles E. from Charlotte, NC signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Rochester, MN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Alpharetta, GA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Edward S. from Clarkdale, GA writes:
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For decades now both parties have slowly chiseled away at our American freedoms and to be truthful I'm disgusted by. I am a true believer that people that crave power will do so by stepping on everybody they can to get there! It is past time that our government obeys their oaths of office and leave our bill of rights alone, every one of them! I'm a disabled 54 year old man who for the first time in my life i'm worried about the direction my government is going. when one branch of us 3 branch government takes more power than the other 2 it becomes a dictatorship and it must and now support this amendment. also why were at it, leave all of the Bill of Rights alone especially our second Amendment that protects all our freedoms we are a armed citizenry and that's why we are the strongest nation in the world! Now many administrations have been bad at protecting our freedoms but the Obama administration has been by far the most abusive than all the others. No branch of our government has the right to disobey their oaths and sell us out to the United Nations, our gun rights are solid and set in stone so why is Obama so determined to steal our guaranteed right from we the people? All he is doing is creating fear not jobs as promised, AGAIN!!! When is he going to learn, he and all of them in our Government works for we the people. Remind him and everyone they swore an oath in front of God and men it's time he governs as such Defend the Constitution, NOW!!! God save your Republic, Amen!
Nov 29th, 2012
Cory B. from Montrose, CO writes:
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I'm counting on you to support this Amendment. Let us thank Senators' Feinstein & Lee for crafting this crucial amendment. If you fail to support this amendment it will tell all of your constituents how truly American you are not. Stand by the Constitution as you swore in taking your oath of office, if you won't do that how are we the people who put you in office obliged to keep you in office. Enough is enough! Congress and the Executive Branch are treading very dangerous waters, we the people are wise to the "power grab" and rest assured will not allow it to continue.
Nov 29th, 2012
Aleksandr B. from Ephrata, PA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Joseph L. from Orlando, FL signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Scott D. from Logan, UT signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
edmund r. from Bangor, ME signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Dunellen, NJ signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Suzanna V. from Rochester, MN writes:
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Thank you Senators Lee and Feinstein for crafting this crucial amendment which prevents the "United States government from depriving its own citizens of life, liberty, or property without full due process of law." Thank you Senator Paul for your relentless and courageous defense of personal liberty. Not a single Representative of 'We the People' should even consider not supporting this Amendment.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Collierville, TN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Sylvan M. from Cedar City, UT signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Donald G. from Lawrenceburg, TN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Junius G. from Florence, SC signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Harold P. from Blairstown, NJ signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Shirley Ann M. from Lilburn, GA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Grand Haven, MI writes:
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Please support the Feinstein-Lee Amendment. Our liberty is precious and needs to be protected by every elected official.
Nov 29th, 2012
Linda W. from Johnson City, TN signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
michelle l. from Livingston, TX writes:
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Please protect our liberties,freedom & uphold our constitution!
Nov 29th, 2012
Bill T. from Ruckersville, VA writes:
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The basic Constitutional rights of Americans must not be compromised.
Nov 29th, 2012
Thomas G. from Baton Rouge, LA writes:
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This needs to get put out in the news fast!
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Corning, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Gail D. from Westfield, MA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Bowling Green, KY signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Grant W. from Milpitas, CA signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Steve C. from Fort Collins, CO signed.
Nov 29th, 2012
Someone from Vancouver, WA signed.