Las Vegas City Council Passes NDAA Nullification Resolution


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will not be enforced in Las Vegas. Rejection of the unconstitutional provisions of that controversial federal act was the purpose of a resolution passed by the city council just after noon on March 20.

By a vote of 5-2, the council passed R-18-2013. The resolution, offered by Ward 2 Councilman Bob Beers, will now be presented to the Clark County (Nevada) Commission.

People Against the NDAA (PANDA) reports that if the measure is approved by the county commission, it would be the first joint city/council resolution passed in the nation seeking to prevent enforcement of the NDAA.

The specific target of the measure is the sections of the NDAA purporting to grant to the president of the United States the power to apprehend and indefinitely detain any American whom he suspects of cooperating with the nation’s enemies. 

Two sections of the 2012 version of the NDAA authorize this imprisonment at the will of the president and deny those held under the act access to an attorney and a public trial, as well as other fundamental aspects of due process.

Referring to relevant articles of the national and state constitutions, the Las Vegas resolution declares that no person may denied “life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

In a paragraph addressing a rarely discussed aspect of the NDAA, the Las Vegas measure declares that it is “never appropriate” for U.S. armed forces to be used as domestic law enforcement.

According to the text of R-18-2013, the prohibition against such action is the federal Posse Comitatus Act. While they got the spirit right, the Posse Comitatus Act is not the relevant law governing such use of the military.

As with any act of Congress, the Posse Comitatus Act may be repealed by subsequent act of Congress. In the case of the Posse Comitatus Act, the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act of 2007, signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006, amended the law by adding the following language: "The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives the people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws."

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