[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Clarifying My Position on Indefinite Military Detention | 12-12-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
78°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 17
1920 - Actress Maureen O'Hara born in Ireland; 1961 "Parent Trap" uses Disney Golden Oak Ranch [story]


Commentary by Sen. Dianne Feinstein
| Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Earlier this month, the Senate overwhelmingly passed (on a 67-29 vote) my amendment to ban the indefinite detention of U.S. persons – citizens and green card holders – without charge or trial.

Unfortunately, the effects of my amendment have been misrepresented by critics on the left as well as proponents of indefinite military detention on the right, particularly after a handful of senators who previously opposed this effort switched their vote at the last minute.

This unexpected support and the spirited debate on the Senate floor left some with the impression that the amendment was imprecise or a Trojan Horse designed to surreptitiously authorize indefinite detention in the United States.

My amendment is neither, and the legal experts I consulted on the amendment agree.

For example, Steven Vladeck of American University, a law professor who has litigated military detention issues in the Supreme Court and an expert on national security law, testified this year before the Senate Judiciary Committee on this legislation. Professor Vladeck reviewed the statements of support by Senators Carl Levin and Lindsey Graham – both of whom advocated indefinite military detention powers in the past.

Professor Vladeck wrote: “The Graham/Levin colloquy sought to cast [the Feinstein] language as doing exactly the opposite of what it says, i.e., as confirming that U.S. citizens can be detained even within the territorial United States pursuant to the logic of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hamdi.” Professor Vladeck concluded that Senators Levin and Graham were “exactly wrong” because “the plain text of the bill is simply irreconcilable with that understanding.”

In another article, Vladeck and Georgetown Law Professor Marty Lederman, another expert on military detention and national security, wrote: “If it were to be enacted, the amendment would ensure that a future president could not construe the September 18, 2001 Authorization for Use of Force (AUMF), the FY2012 NDAA, or any comparable statute to authorize the military detention of citizens and LPRs [lawful permanent residents] apprehended within the United States.”

I agree. It is true the courts have previously reached ambiguous and conflicting decisions regarding whether U.S. persons apprehended on American soil may be subject to indefinite detention under the laws of war. However, far from adding to this ambiguity, I am confident my amendment brings much-needed clarification to this area of the law.

My amendment updates the Non-Detention Act of 1971 which Congress passed to repudiate the shameful Japanese-American internment experience during World War II. That landmark legislation, which liberal critics of my amendment have made no effort to overturn, protected only U.S. citizens from detention. In contrast, my amendment broadens protections from indefinite detention, protecting both lawful permanent residents as well as citizens.

At a time when civil liberties are under attack, we should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. As Professors Lederman and Vladeck note, “The new Feinstein amendment…doesprotect the vast majority of persons in the United States from noncriminal detention without express statutory authorization….”

I would support providing the protections in this amendment to all persons in the United States, whether lawfully or unlawfully present, but we lacked sufficient support in the Senate to do this. Most Republican co-sponsors of the bill said they would not support the legislation if it went that far.

Other critics misrepresent the language of the amendment and charge that it could be read to imply there is an authorization to indefinitely detain illegal immigrants and legal visitors in the United States. In doing this, they ignore the language that explicitly prevents such an interpretation. Again, don’t take my word for it. Professors Lederman and Vladeck say that my amendment “would do nothing of the sort.”

The bottom line: indefinite military detention is incompatible with our values, and this amendment is a major step forward to make sure we never return to the dark chapter of American history when we detained Japanese-American citizens out of fear during World War II.

 

Dianne Feinstein represents California in the U.S. Senate. Her commentary originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Biffler says:

    Nobody believes you.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some really bad outcomes, including kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma, and even death.
Friday, Aug 11, 2017
There is no doubt the vast majority of Democrats and liberals loathe Trump. Certainly all of the leftists thoroughly hate him, and they have some company. They’re called Republicans.
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017
In his August message to the community, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin details the city's emergency preparedness resources.
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017
As our first president George Washington said, “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”
Sunday, Jul 30, 2017
Many shocking surprises have shown up around the world as the ice melts. We’ve found a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth, a field of dead reindeer that died of anthrax, and then last year, infected people in Russia, and in Alaska, an Air Force plane that disappeared was finally found in the Colony Glacier. It had crashed in 1952, killing everyone on board.
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017
When President Donald Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review the status of 27 national monuments created by three former presidents, many across the nation took it as a call to action to advocate on behalf of the monuments closest to their homes, and their hearts.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two people have been hospitalized after a major collision. Plus, an acquisition of land near the 14. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday August 17, 2017
Le Chene French Cuisine, a long-time Santa Clarita local favorite restaurant along Sierra Highway, has announced that they will be hosting a thrilling Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
Nov. 4: Le Chene Murder Mystery Dinner
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today announces that he is one of the 2017 inductees into the Antelope Valley High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Sept. 22: Wilk to be Inducted into AV High School Hall of Fame
Signups are under way for the Santa Clarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which offers participants an opportunity to take a healthy stroll, experience outstanding live entertainment, honor loved ones who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and raise funds to battle the debilitating disease.
Oct. 7: Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Signups Underway
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in Santa Clarita Valley Friday.
AQMD: Unhealthy Air Quality Forecasted for SCV Friday
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) andand Clarion Partners are pleased to announce the acquisition of 54 acres of land for the development of The Center at Needham Ranch, a state-of-the-art business park in the city of Santa Clarita, CA.
TCC, Clarion Partners Acquire More Than 50 Acres of SCV Real Estate
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is hosting what will be a highly educational and informative (and free) Tax Seminar for Nonprofits and Exempt Organizations.
Sept. 6: Tax Seminar for Non-Profits and Exempt Organizations
For the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will pass over the continental United States on August 21, and Princess Cruises guests sailing on six cruise ships in Alaska will be invited to special viewing parties as part of the cruise line’s exclusive Stargazing with Discovery at Sea program.
Princess Cruises to Host On-Board Viewing Parties for Solar Eclipse
Two people have been hospitalized with major injuries after a collision on San Francisquito Wednesday night.
San Francisquito Road Collision Leads to Major Injuries
Caltrans today announced that 32 major “fix-it-first” transportation projects can be accelerated a year earlier than planned thanks to anticipated funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
More Than 30 Caltrans “Fix-it-First” Projects Accelerated by SB 1
Statement from CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison on Recent Events in Charlottesville, Virginia
CSUN President Releases Statement on Charlottesville
The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a traffic collision at Bouquet Canyon and Plum Canyon Roads early Thursday morning.
Firefighters Extricate Trapped Person After Early Morning Collision
Brandon Gold allowed a tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning and the Lancaster JetHawks fell to the San Jose Giants, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Municipal Stadium.
Gold, JetHawks Fall Short Against the Giants
In comments submitted Thursday, Attorney General Xavier Becerra expressed his strong opposition to any attempt by the Trump Administration to open California’s coast to new offshore drilling.
Becerra Vows to Protect State from Offshore Drilling
While Charlottesville violence and protests continue divisive dialogue nationally, Santa Clarita residents gathered to create a place “to be able to come together.”
Community Members Hold Vigil for Charlottesville
1920 - Actress Maureen O'Hara born in Ireland; 1961 "Parent Trap" uses Disney Golden Oak Ranch [story]
Farmers and environmentalists are lining up to battle the $16.7 billion California WaterFix tunnels project proposed for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Farmers, Environmentalists Join to Fight California ‘WaterFix’ Project
There's a new Grizzly at Golden Valley High School as Matt Sorensen has been named the school's new head baseball coach.
Matt Sorenson New Head Baseball Coach at Golden Valley
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Sheriff’s deputies are continuing to conduct burglary suppression operations in our valley. Plus, Representative Steve Knight sat down with local law enforcement to discuss the current state and future role of policing in the SCV. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Saugus Union School Board is establishing a committee to advise on the development of policies and procedures for the sale or lease of surplus real property owned by the District.
Saugus Board Creates Surplus Property Advisory Committee
The SCV Sanitation Board has provided an update in its efforts to comply with the state-mandated chloride limit, including finalizing the Recirculated EIR released for public comment in May.
SCV Sanitation Board Finalizing EIR Due August 18
"Music, Volume 1," the latest album by platinum recording artist and CalArts' School of Music namesake Herb Alpert, recently reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
Herb Alpert’s Latest Album Tops Billboard Jazz Chart
The Castaic Union School District's Governing Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, August 17 at 5 p.m.
August 17: Castaic Schools Governing Board Special Meeting
MannKind Corp. is moving its corporate headquarters to Westlake Village, after nearly 17 years in Valencia, according to the latest quarterly report it filed with the SEC.
MannKind Corp. Moving from Valencia to Westlake Village
CalArts grads Mark Bradford and Sharon Lockhart headline the Un-Private Collection artist talk at the Orpheum Wednesday night, presented by the Broad museum of contemporary art.
August 16: CalArtians Mark Bradford, Sharon Lockhart at Broad in L.A.
Santa Clarita Valley International School has hired veteran coach Ken Erenberg as athletic director, the school announced today.
Ken Erenberg Named SCVi Athletic Director
The Los Angeles Dodgers took the first of the two-game Interleague series with a 6-1 victory over the White Sox at Dodger Stadium Tuesday night.
Dodgers Soil White Sox 6-1 Tuesday
40 oz. to Freedom arrives in Santa Clarita as part of its anniversary tour at Concerts in the Park at Central Park on Saturday, August 19, with showtime at 7 p.m.
August 19: 40 Oz. to Freedom Rocks Central Park
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today submitted a letter to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation during a public comment period regarding proposed regulations that could lead to the early release of dangerous "nonviolent" inmates and diminish victim rights.
Wilk Urges Public Safety When Releasing ‘Non-Violent’ Felons
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released a statement Wednesday morning, condemning the violence and mourning a death in Charlottesville.
County Commission Mourns Death of Charlottesville Protester
Garrett Hampson, the Cal League’s reigning Player of the Week, slugged a two-run home run to lead the Lancaster JetHawks to a 5-3 win over the San Jose Giants on Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium.
Hampson Stays Hot, Lifts ‘Hawks Over Giants
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested three suspects and seized drugs and weapons in a recent burglary suppression operation.
SCV Deputies Arrest 3, Seize Drugs, Weapons
1947 - Newhall Hardware opens on Spruce Street, now called Main Street [story]
Representative Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, sat down with Santa Clarita law enforcement officials to discuss the current state and future role of policing in the SCV.
Knight, Law Enforcement Officials Hold Roundtable Discussion
From the Facebook page of Shirley Miller, public information officer, social media manager at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station: LASD Carjacker Captured (with some help).
Community Member Tackles Suspected Carjacker