The Lane County Commissioners have an opportunity to make a historical decision on Tuesday, December 16th, to pass an ordinance that would criminalize the implementation of a dangerously unconstitutional federal law. Section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows for the federal executive branch to declare anywhere in the United States a potential “battlefield” on the war on terror, replacing constitutional law with the ‘law of war’. The ‘law of war’ under section 1021 authorizes the indefinite detention, rendition, and possible torture and execution of suspected Americans without a trial or judicial review. The proposed ordinance would criminalize any implementation of the ‘law of war’ and would severely penalizes any person attempting to deny another of the due process rights outlined by state law, and guaranteed by the U.S. and State Constitutions.
The Commissioners’ legal counsel and even Lane’s District Attorney both oppose this ordinance, claiming it unnecessary and a vast overreach of the County’s constitutional power. However, over the past three years the 2012 NDAA has proven to be one of the clearest examples of the current failure of our federal system of checks and balances. This failure is requiring states and counties to provide the necessary legal clarity for this law, because the federal government has refused and proven unable to do so. Congress overwhelmingly passed the law in 2011, and for the past three years they have failed to pass any of the proposed amendments to fix the problematic section. The President promised he wouldn’t sign the bill because of the constitutional concerns with section 1021, but signed it anyway, and later ironically fought in court to protect the section from being thrown out. Despite a federal judge who ruled section 1021 unconstitutional, the Obama administration appealed, and the Circuit Court of Appeals over turned her decision. The Supreme Court officially refused to hear the case in March of 2014. As it stands, section 1021 remains in effect, and its broad and unclear language allows for the ‘law of war’ to be implemented on American soil, including the indefinite detention, rendition, and possible torture and execution of American citizens without a trial.
As elected and appointed officials in the state of Oregon, our County Commissioners’, their legal counsel, the District Attorney, and County Sheriff, are all required by Article XV Section 3 of Oregon’s Constitution to “support the Constitution of the United States and this State”. It's true that ultimately this issue should be resolved at the state or federal level, but until the political will is created to do so, our local officials have a constitutional power and obligation to protect the due process rights of those in their jurisdiction. The proposed ordinance does not only secure and support the constitutional rights of the people, but also serve as an educational tool to expose the unconstitutionality of the 2012 NDAA, and exemplifies local solutions to fix it.
Please come to the Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, December 16th, at 9:00am in Harris Hall (125 E 8th Ave, Eugene), and help us demand the passage of this crucial ordinance. The Commissioners' legal counsel has been dragging their heels for the last eight months and it's time the Commissioners set a clear deadline to finalize this ordinance. We need as many people in Harris Hall as possible, as well as people willing to speak during the public comment section in the beginning of the meeting. Those willing to speak, should sternly demand the immediate passage of the ordinance, and ask the Commissioners to set strict deadlines to make it happen. Without the publics’ pressure, this law will remain in effect, and this opportunity to reclaim our local sovereignty will be lost.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing.”
PANDA ~ Oregon State Coordinator
Feel free to contact us at anytime for more information or visit:
1) PANDA ~ Oregon Youtube channel
2)PANDA ~ Oregon Facebook page
3) PANDA’s National website:
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THE U.N. & LOCAL AGENDA 21
THE U.N. & AGENDA 21: