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Hey Congress! Listen to Hawaii.

Allie Bohm,
Policy Counsel,
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May 17, 2012

Hawaii recently joined the list of cities, counties, and states across the country expressing opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)’s indefinite and mandatory military detention provisions and calling on Congress to repeal them. In a joint resolution offered by Hawaii state representative Linda Ichiyama and supported by the ACLU of Hawaii and the Japanese American Citizens League (which knows a thing or two about indefinite detention based on unsubstantiated suspicion), as well as several ordinary Hawaiians (actually, it seems that no one submitted testimony in opposition to the resolution), the Hawaiian legislature passed language stating,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, the Senate concurring, that the United States Congress is urged to restore the system of checks and balances in the United States by repealing sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Their resolution couldn’t have come at a better time. As soon as today – though possibly tomorrow morning – the House of Representatives will vote on the Smith/Amash amendment to this year’s NDAA. The amendment won’t do everything Hawaii asks, but it will come awfully close, and it’s a great start. It will completely repeal the mandatory military detention provision in the NDAA (that’s Section 1022) and will make it clear that the United States is off-limits to indefinite detention and the use of military commissions to try civilians. It’s a huge step in the right direction.

The vote will be close. But, we can push it over the edge. In the few hours left before the vote, we need you to tell your members of Congress to listen to Hawaii – and to listen to you – and vote for the Smith/Amash amendment. Call your representative now or go to our Action Center and send an e-mail.

And if you’d like your city, state, or county to be the next Hawaii, check out our activist toolkit and model legislation and bring it to your lawmakers.

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