California’s indefinite detention defies federal laws put in place by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The non-compliance law became official after Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill this week. The bill passed through state legislation in September.
This new law, AB351, says that California will now refuse to cooperate with any federal attempt to arrest or get support to detain a citizen of the state indefinitely, Central Valley Business Times reports. Law enforcement and the California National Guard are now not allowed to willfully assist any federal agency’s attempt to enforce the 2012 NDAA.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, author of the new bill, says that the US legal system protects citizens from undue accusation or punishment. These are basic rights in the US, Donnelly says, and “shouldn’t be violated merely because the federal government finds them to be an impediment.”
The controversial NDAA was signed by President Obama in 2012. It put into place the power to arrest anyone, including US citizens, over “national security.” In theory, a citizen could be imprisoned for any amount of time without being charged or facing trial.
Since becoming law last year, the NDAA has faced some backlash. RT reports that both Virginia and Alaska have led the charge, each passing nullification laws that defy the NDAA’s indefinite detention clauses last year.
However, California’s new law goes further than other states’ anti-NDAA laws. The Golden State not only refuses to cooperate with specific sections of the NDAA, it will also exempt the state from participating in any similar future laws.
Last year a court in New York found the disputed clause of the NDAA, Section 1021, to be unconstitutional. However, this was successfully overturned after an appeal from the Obama administration. At the time, the court stated that Section 1021 does not talk about US citizens at all, so a ruling against it would be inappropriate.
The Obama administration and US Department of Justice have not yet commented on California’s indefinite detention nullification law.