7 votes

Mike Lee clarifies the Feinstein amendment

Last night, with the passage of the Feinstein-Lee amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), we took an important step forward in the cause of ending indefinite detention of Americans. For more than a year, I have worked closely with Senator Feinstein on legislation that would protect Americans’ due process rights and ensure that American citizens and permanent legal residents apprehended on American soil may not be detained without charge or trial. Our amendment garnered overwhelmingly bipartisan support -- including from strong civil libertarians such as myself, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Jim DeMint.

A few who share our commitment to civil liberties have expressed concern that the amendment will not in fact accomplish what it is designed to do. I would like to set the record straight.

The amendment provides: “An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.”

It is the last clause – “unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention“ – that has been the source of confusion to some friends of individual liberty. They worry that the 2012 NDAA (or perhaps even an earlier Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF)) could be read to provide such an express authorization and thereby satisfy the high bar set forth in our amendment.

In reality, neither the AUMF nor the 2012 NDAA did any such thing.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Read the bills and the

Read the bills and the amendments for yourself!

You will see in plain language that it authorizes detention of American citizens. Plain language in only a few sentences.

All of the spin and disinformation helps to weed out the good guys from the bad guys. After reading the text myself, I think it is clearly too far open to interpretation. Graham thinks that it still allows it. So read for yourself and then go figure out who the liars are!!

psnow's picture

For what it's worth..

Roll Call for Lee-Feinstein Amendment 3018 to the NDAA

Here is the roll call for Amendment 3018 to the NDAA. The amendment reinforces the rights prescribed to Americans in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, to ensure that American citizens cannot held indefinitely without trial. The amendment passed 67-29.
NAY’s :
Ayotte (R-NH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McConnell (R-KY)
Nelson (D-NE)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Stange, that McCain and Graham don't show up. Politics makes strange bed fellows I guess.

"I just want to live in a free country" - Dr. Ron Paul

No problem. The NDAA sec. 1021 is dead.

OK, Now everyone needs to send a letter to the Whitehouse demanding the names of ALL persons detained in the United States under the Freeedom of Information Act so they can get legal counsel. It will
be interesting to see the response. I am sending a FOI letter to all departmens of government.



Another explanation

from a law professor (disagrees with Amash):


Interesting article by Susanne Posel


She refers to it as Rand's amendment but has an interesting take - only U.S. citizens are protected and discusses how Lieberman's "Enemy Expatriation Act" (EEA) comes into play.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace." - Jimi Hendrix

Noticed she closed the article to comments to hide truth

Good job promoting her deception though.

Thanks for posting. I -1

Thanks for posting. I -1 because I trust Amash over Romney enthusiast Mike Lee.

It's kinda funny we are arguing over the wording of things when they are going to do whatever they want anyway.

Debbie's picture

You should trust your own reading of the Constitution and the

bill itself.


agreed. however

we have a limited amount of time and resources that we have to prioritize. When a specialist like Amash voices in I take it more seriously than others.

Debbie's picture

Fair enough.

I do understand that.