While Rep. Justin Amash Pushes His Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, A Judge Has Temporarily Blocked Portions of the NDAA on First and Fifth Amendment Grounds →
On Wednesday, a federal judged blocked Section 1021, (AKA the indefinite detainment provision) of the the highly controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest agreed with journalist Chris Hedges, writer Noam Chomsky, Mr. Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, and several other plaintiffs who argued in January that the NDAA might just have a chilling effect on free expression. Forrest also agreed that it violated the Fifth Amendment right to due process and that the thing just didn’t “pass Constitutional muster.” …
Meanwhile, scrappy young Congressman and advocate for actually reading bills before he votes on them, Justin Amash, is preparing to speak on the House floor about his (and Democrat Adam Smith’s) amendment to the NDAA. The amendment, which would explicitly say that the NDAA cannot apply to accused domestic terrorists, could potentially come up for a vote as early as Friday. Rep. Ron Paul is a fan, but the number of supporters are seemingly fairly small.
United States soil will be defined as a battlefield if the Senate has its way. The Senate voted to preserve language that will give the U.S. military a crack at al Qaeda operatives captured in the U.S., even if they are American citizens.
Led by Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, senators voted 61-37 to preserve the language that gives the military custody of al Qaeda suspects, rather than turning them over to law enforcement officials.
President Obama has said he will veto the legislation, but only because he wants the power for himself, as opposed to the military.
“Any bill that challenges or constrains the president’s critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation would prompt the president’s senior advisers to recommend a veto,” the White House said in a statement.
Amash is great. This is what I posted the day after the election:
[M]y highlight of the evening was the victory of Michigan’s Justin Amash, who instantly became the second- or third-most libertarian member of Congress after Ron Paul. A fan of Hayek and Bastiat, he’s one of the few candidates whose campaigns I contributed to who actually won. I’m also very happy about Rand Paul’s victory. I contributed to his campaign early but backed off some when he started to lean neo-con a bit. Hopefully he’s just as reliable about liberty in the Senate as his father is in the House. And I am moderately pleased with the victories of Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Mick Mulvaney, maybe Pat Toomey …
As a Californian, I am disgusted by last night’s results in my state. As I stated in my post this morning, the decisions of the lefty California electorate will make Greece look miserly.
Nationally, things fared better.
The good news: The Democrats were handed a fairly solid ass-whooping. The Obamunist Agenda has been repudiated. The bad news: Republicans gained some power.
Don’t get me wrong, Republicans are far and away the lesser of two evils. As I’ve discussed before, many “conservative” principles found within the GOP - private property rights, cutting spending and taxes, limited government, etc. - are at least superficially nurtured within the party, which makes them more amenable to the message of pure liberty. It’s easier to convince someone of inconsistencies in their logic than to completely overturn their world-view. But it remains to be seen if the newly-elected GOP will govern like the quasi-libertarians they ran as (prioritizing spending and tax cuts), or like the “compassionate conservative” big government chuckleheads that have dominated their party for much of the last 10-20 years.
That said, my highlight of the evening was the victory of Michigan’s Justin Amash, who instantly became the second- or third-most libertarian member of Congress after Ron Paul. A fan of Hayek and Bastiat, he’s one of the few candidates whose campaigns I contributed to who actually won. I’m also very happy about Rand Paul’s victory. I contributed to his campaign early but backed off some when he started to lean neo-con a bit. Hopefully he’s just as reliable about liberty in the Senate as his father is in the House. And I am moderately and reservedly pleased with the victories of Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, maybe Pat Toomey and some others.
So the good definitely outweighs the bad, at least for now.
George Will explains that the voters rejected Obama and unlimited government:
The more he denounced Republicans as the party of “no,” the better Republicans did. His denunciations enabled people to support Republicans without embracing them as anything other than impediments to him.
Similarly, David Harsanyi lays out the case that last night, the people voted against government:
Across the country, the electorate laid down a resounding angry vote against activist government. And, mind you, no one had to wrestle with any ambiguity about the objectives of the Republicans. Democrats helpfully hammered home the newfound libertarian extremism of the GOP, and Republicans typically embraced the label.
Exit polls showed that this election was a rejection of the progressive agenda of “stimulus,” of Obamacare, of cap and trade. Exit polls showed that there was great anger with government—not government that didn’t work or government that didn’t do enough, but government that didn’t know its place. Some Senate seats that Republicans lost were to Democrats who sounded more conservative than their opponents.
Today, in most of the country, there’s good reason to be optimistic.