File:Airport Frankfurt - Fraport - Flughafen Frankfurt - barbed wire and fence - Stacheldraht und Zaun - 05.jpgImage Source  :  Wikimedia . orgBy  Norbert Nagel, Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany


As reported by Nick Hankoff at the California Tenth Amendment Center today, AB351, the California Liberty Preservation Act has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown:

Assembly Bill 351, commonly called the California Liberty Preservation Act, has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown making it statewide policy to refuse compliance with federal attempts to enforce “indefinite detention” made famous by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). What began as a marginal issue with little legislative support has unified Californians of all persuasions and brought attention to the proper role the people and their states play in a constitutional republic.

AB351 now makes it state policy to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government.   It reads, in part:

It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California. [emphasis added]

This language of AB351 goes far beyond what has been considered in most other states, which focus solely on indefinite detention powers under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and nothing else.  Donnelly’s legislation broadened the scope by recognizing that indefinite detention should not be complied with no matter what federal law is used to justify it.  Donnelly confirmed this broad scope, “AB351 will prevent California from implementing indefinite detention for any reason.”

This can make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California.  As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.


Hankoff noted the broad coalition which brought the bill from zero support to law in California:

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly first introduced AB-351 in February after various grassroots coalitions won their efforts to condemn “indefinite detention” (government kidnapping) in the form of resolutions in San Francisco, Berkeley, Fairfax, and Santa Cruz, while still more organized in Los Angeles and elsewhere. These coalitions included 99%ers, the CA Libertarian Party, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, CA Republican Liberty Caucus, ACLU, Oath Keepers, and more. Despite this organic, spontaneous cooperation Donnelly couldn’t find a single ally in the California legislature for the bill. That was, until members of the mentioned organizations showed up to testify at AB-351′s first committee hearing.

At the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Chairman Tom Ammiano, widely considered the most progressive Democratic CA Assemblyman told Donnelly, the most conservative Republican that “you have found a zone we are all in.” AB-351 passed out of committee unanimously.

Acting as floor manager for the bill in the Senate, San Francisco liberal Democrat Mark Leno, and his colleagues had a brief laugh he was the one presenting a bill introduced by ultra-conservative Assemblymember Tim Donnelly.   Leno noted that this was the result of the serious nature of the matter at hand.  He said, “It doesn’t matter where one finds oneself on the political spectrum, these two sections of this national defense act are wrong, unconstitutional and never should have been included.”


Some opponents of the legislation claimed that the US Constitution’s “supremacy clause” prevents the state from taking this action.  But this is a complete misunderstanding, not only of the supremacy clause, but of AB351 as well.  There is absolutely ZERO serious dispute about the fact that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to carry out its laws.  None. Even the Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times.

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