Bipartisan Coalition of Senators File ‘Due Process Guarantee Act’ Amendment to NDAA

Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Tom Udall (D-NM), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Due Process Guarantee Act Monday as an amendment to the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

This amendment will protect the Due Process rights of American citizens and lawful permanent residents in the United States by prohibiting their indefinite detention under any general authorization of military force or declaration of war.  Previous provisions in the Defense Authorization Act have placed Americans’ Fifth Amendment rights at risk and set dangerous legal precedence for the future.  

“Twenty-first century warfare has presented unique legal issues to our federal government,” Lee said, “but we cannot sacrifice the core values and protections of the Constitution and Bill of Rights for any reason. This amendment guarantees that U.S. persons in the United States cannot be held indefinitely without due process of law – one of the principles upon which our nation was founded – while still allowing the federal government to have the intelligence gathering and law enforcement tools necessary to protect our country and keep our deployed service members safe.”

This amendment does not undermine the ability of the United States to capture enemy combatants on foreign battlefields under the law of war.  Similar language was adopted with significant bipartisan support on the FY 2013 NDAA, but was removed in conference.