Californians’ Habeas Corpus Rights Protected

AB 351  of 2013 enacts a new Penal Code provision to refuse to support the implementation of any federal law authorizing indefinite detention of a Californian under a federal law protecting against terrorist attacks.

A petition for a habeas writ is filed by an individual who believes he or she is being wrongly detained.  If the court grants the petition, the court issues a habeas writ directing the detaining official to bring the individual before the court to challenge the validity of the detention.  The U.S. Constitution prohibits the suspension of this privilege “unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”  (U.S. Const., art. I, § 9, cl. 2.)

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) allowing the executive branch to leverage all available military assets to bring to justice combatants deemed responsible or materially supportive of forces associated with the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  The AUMF gives the president the power to attack “nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”  The AUMF has been relied on by the federal government for activities such as military detentions and the use of drones.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) codifies the authority given to the President in the AUMF, which includes indefinite military detention without charge or trial of civilians captured far from any battlefield.

This codification has sparked a nationwide movement among the states against the 2012 NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions.  In AB 351, California sends a very clear message that no agency or employee of the state of California or any of its political subdivisions shall aid in any way to assist U.S. military detention without charges or trial of a person in California.  It is intended to protect the civil liberties of all Californians. 

Contact Legislative Intent Service, Inc. at 1-800-666-1917 or by email for a free quote or to discuss your legislative history research questions.

We are professional legislative historians at your service in the 21st Century!