Virginia House Votes 96-4 Against NDAA Indefinite Detention

RICHMOND (Feb. 10, 2015) – Today, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to push back against federal indefinite detention powers. The vote was 96-4.

In 2013, Virginia was the first state to pass legislation in response to the indefinite detention powers purportedly authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, still active today. That law was a first step, limited in scope, forbidding state agencies, in some situations, from cooperating with some federal attempts to exercise the indefinite detention provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

For 2015, House Bill 2144 (HB2144), sponsored by Del. Benjamin L. Cline (R-Rockbridge), takes things two steps beyond simply refusing to cooperate with federal agents in the event of indefinite detention in Virginia. It sets the stage to create the type of leverage and attention D.C. would not want public if it refuses to cooperate with the state of Virginia.

This legislation would require two things from the feds if it wants to detains, pursuant to NDAA, any U.S. citizen in the state of Virginia.

One:

“the U.S.Secretary of Defense shall provide notification within 24 hours of the detention to both the Secretary of Public Safety and the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the citizen is detained…

Two:

the U.S. Secretary of Defense or his designee shall seek authorization from the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the citizen is detained prior to removal of the citizen from the locality”

A series of events is triggered upon failure to comply during such detainment of any person in the state of Virginia by the DoD. The state of Virginia will gather and publish Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). These are essentially partnerships with state funds attached to them. These agreements are not necessarily legally binding, but usually offer some privacy between state, private enterprises (contractors), and federal agencies. Much of this kind of information usually remains hidden from the general public….

By Michael Boldin – Tenth Amendment Center –

Virginia mulls ConCon effort to rein in federal powers

Virginia is one of the latest states involved in a new push for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution in a bid to rein in the federal government — part of a nascent campaign on an issue states have been grappling with since at least the 18th century.

National and state GOP leaders are supportive of the idea, saying that a convention of the states is needed to stop an out-of-control federal government, but some conservatives say such a gathering could end up as a free-for-all and risk radically altering the founding document.

Resolutions calling for a convention to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and impose term limits on members of Congress recently advanced out of committees in Virginia’s House and Senate, along with separate resolutions calling specifically for a balanced budget amendment.

Michael Farris, a former GOP nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor, is helping spearhead the push for a convention of the states, a project of the group Citizens for Self-Governance.

The movement is nothing new, but Mr. Farris said he got the idea for a renewed effort after the 2012 election. He said it made sense legally and politically to start fresh rather than try to build on prior disparate efforts that have seen mixed results.

At least 34 states, or two-thirds, must pass applications for a convention and ultimately would need a sign-off from Congress….

Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to propose amendments, but it states that “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, [Congress] shall call a convention for proposing amendments.”

Rather than calling for a specific amendment, this particular movement is calling for a convention of the states to reduce the power and scope of the federal government. The language in Virginia’s proposals specifically call for a convention to pass amendments “that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”

The Republican-controlled House of Delegates voted down a similar resolution during last year’s session, and the fate of this year’s effort is still very much up in the air.

Three states — Alaska, Georgia and Florida — passed the group’s convention of states application last year, and lawmakers in a dozen states are considering them this year….

By David Sherfinski – The Washington Times –

School district to stop interrogating Christian homeschool kids

A Virginia school district has decided to scrap a policy that allowed it to interrogate Christian homeschool teenagers and their parents about their religious beliefs.

Last November Douglas Pruiett and his wife received a letter from Goochland County Public Schools about updated procedures to the district’s requests for religious exemptions for homeschool students.

Under the updated rules, once a child turns 14-years-old, the district requires that homeschool parents reapply for a religious exemption to public education.

It sounds to me like some sort of modern-day religious inquisition – hauling Christian kids in front of the school board to be interrogated about the authenticity of their relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Prueitts have seven children, three of whom were impacted by the revised policy.

“Each application must be completed along with a statement of your bona fide religious beliefs and a statement from your child age 14 or older stating his/her bona fide religious beliefs,” the policy reads.

In other words, the homeschool kids have to prove to the school board that they love Jesus. And then there was this rather ominous paragraph:

“The School Board reserves the right to schedule a meeting with the parent(s) and, in the case of a student age 14 or older, with the student. The parent of a student younger than age 14 may choose to have his or her child attend the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is for the School Board to determine whether the request for exemption is based upon a conscientious opposition to attendance at a public school or at a private, denominational, or parochial school due to bona fide religious training or beliefs. Such meeting will be conducted in a closed meeting of the School Board.”

It sounds to me like some sort of modern-day religious inquisition – hauling Christian kids in front of the school board to be interrogated about the authenticity of their relationship with Jesus Christ.

“The policy provided the school board the right to call the child before them (and I call it interrogation) to defend those beliefs so they could determine whether indeed the child and the parents still held bona fide religious beliefs to qualify for the exemption,” Prueitt said.

His immediate reaction was to reject the district’s mandate – even though his refusal could have had landed the family in court. He cited the Virginia religious exemption statute which gives families a right to an exemption from school attendance based on the religious training the parents are providing to the child – regardless of what the child believes. The local policy, he said, violates that right.

By Todd Starnes – Fox News –