Citizens oppose Senate Bill 1867
Area residents and members of the Elk County Tea Party discussed the negative affects of federal Senate Bill 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, that reportedly would legalize the U.S. government's detainment of citizens possibly linked with terroristic activity.A 926-page bill in total, two small sections have raised ire across the nation, and apparently Elk County: Sections 1031 and 1032.The aforementioned Section 1031 relates to usage of armed forces to arrest "people pursuant to the authorization for use of military force," in an effort to detain suspects "under the law of war" who may have participated in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks or those who are reportedly supporters of a terrorist faction, or "associated with forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners."According to Blaise Dornisch, a Johnsonburg resident and founder of the Elk County Tea Party, these sections are unconstitutional."We're voicing our displeasure with the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which I'm sure you would question why it would be part of the discussion here at the county level," Dornisch said. "We would like to call to mind the fact that everyone here in office and in uniform, including those of us that have served previously, have all taken an oath to the Constitution and this particular act, many scholars, citizens and groups throughout the country are very much opposed and concerned at the overreaching of the federal government, specifically our Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights that this bill clearly infringes upon."According to Dornisch, in Section 1032 regarding "requirement for military custody," the document clearly states that the "requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States."Furthermore, in regard to "lawful resident aliens," the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States."Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.