Oakland County, Michigan recently held a hearing in order to consider a resolution against certain provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). A highly contested and controversial bill, the NDAA was signed by President Obama in the December of 2011, and has been construed as an unconstitutional overreach of governmental authority. The indefinite detention provision of the NDAA has been particularly controversial, as it allows the president to indefinitely imprison individuals, including U.S. citizens, without charge or trial.
Critics see the NDAA as an attack upon civil liberties, which has resulted in an unreasonable stripping away of fundamental freedoms. Several nonpartisan organizations testified at the Michigan hearing, including the Michigan Tenth Amendment Center, and the Michigan Campaign for Liberty. Drawing upon strong support from the local community, the resolution passed the Oakland County Commission by a unanimous vote. Following the lead of Allegan County, Oakland County has become the second county in Michigan to refute the provisions of the NDAA. Communications director Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center praised the actions and advocacy of Oakland County, stating that:
“Over and over again, we’ve seen that we can’t count on the federal government to limit its own power… That’s why it’s so important for local and state governments to take control and protect their citizens most basic civil liberties.
While Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the New York District Court initially ruled against the NDAA in September, the 2nd circuit court of appeals recently ruled in favor of the Obama administration by provisionally extending the terms of the act through a temporary stay. Despite the unsuccessful legal challenge, Oakland and Allegan County now join fifteen other governmental entities in opposing the NDAA, and has become integral aspects of the larger movement against the bill. The condemnation of the NDAA by such groups demonstrates a growing pattern of discontent with the bill, and it is now up to the federal government to act accordingly to such criticisms by state governments.