Colorado is one of 13 states with bills opposing indefinite detention
On Monday February 18th, House Bill 13-1045 was passed by the Colorado House Committee on State, Veterans and Military Affairs. The bill would prohibit state officials from helping enforce certain unconstitutional provisions of the 2012 federal National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The nullification measure passed the committee by a seven to four vote, representing a bipartisan effort with three Democrats and four Republicans voting in favor.
The nullification movement is motivated by concerns about the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens authorized under the NDAA. The effort is not limited to Colorado. Several civil liberties groups have filed “a lawsuit against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.” In addition, there are efforts in thirteen states to nullify these questionable provisions. Such moves indicate at least some national sentiment against federal government overreach.
Ultimately, the Colorado legislation may stand a chance of passing. The first sign in favor of NDAA nullification is the bipartisan committee vote. Another indication is that three Colorado counties have already passed anti-NDAA measures. Fremont, El Paso, and Weld counties have passed local ordinances in opposition to the indefinite detention provisions of the act. Finally, Colorado voters demonstrated their willingness to nullify federal laws in November when they passed Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use in the state.
Though HB 13-1045 survived the committee vote, it still has a long way to go before it becomes law. The next step is for the bill to go before the state House and then on to the state Senate. Finally it would have to be signed (or vetoed) by Governor Hickenlooper. However, proponents may have reason to be cautiously optimistic.