Senators Feinstein, Lee, and Paul introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act today that would prevent the president or executive branch agencies from indefinitely detaining U.S. citizens without charges or trial. It's not a complete prohibition: Congress explicitly reserves the right to authorize such detentions in the future.

What's remarkable is that, so far, the only other sponsors listed so far are senators Coons, Collins, Lautenberg, Gillibrand, and Kirk. That's a total of a mere 8 senators out of 100 who want to be on the record as opposing indefinite military detention for U.S. citizens, at least as of when the web page was last updated. The sponsor list is here:

You can find the text of the amendment here (it's also below) if you click here and follow the links:

Here are Sen. Paul's remarks, highlighting the flexible definition of being dubbed a terrorist sympathizer, and noting that the right of a trial by jury is an ancient one:

Here's a video of Sen. Lee on the floor:
Protecting the Right to a Trial by Jury

And here's what may be the most poorly-argued +The Wall Street Journal editorial in recent memory (among other errors, it blames this amendment on libertarians, which Dianne Feinstein most definitely isn't, and I'm not sure what "strict rules on surveillance" it's referring to):



    Section 4001 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

    (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c); and

    (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:

    ``(b)(1) 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.

    ``(2) Paragraph (1) applies to an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2013.

    ``(3) Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to authorize the detention of a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or any other person who is apprehended in the United States.''.

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