ACLU Testifies Against NDAA Detention

February 21, 2013

CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, Communications Director, 410-889-8555; 

Sara Love, Public Policy Director, 703-963-2710; 


ANNAPOLIS - On February 21, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland will testify to the House Health and Government Operations Committee in support of House Bill 558, which would prohibit an agency, county or employee of the state, and others, from knowingly aiding in the detention of a person under §§ 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). The lead sponsor of the bill is Del. Don Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel), joined by many other Republican Delegates. 


The breadth of the NDAA's worldwide detention authority violates at least the 5th and 6th Amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as Article III of the Constitution. Furthermore, the provisions of the NDAA authorizing the indefinite military detention of civilians violate the laws of war by which the United States is bound and which it helped to establish, because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict.


Statement of Sara Love, Public Policy Director of ACLU of Maryland: "Last year, Congress passed a statute authorizing this president and all future presidents to use the military to indefinitely detain people located far from any battlefield - without charge or trial - based on suspicion alone. That kind of sweeping detention power is completely at odds with our American values, violates the Constitution, and corrodes our Nation's commitment to the rule of law, which generations have fought to preserve. This legislation holds promise in sending a strong, bipartisan message from the State of Maryland to Congress that the indefinite military detention provisions of the NDAA should be repealed."


WHAT: Hearing in support of HB 558 - Maryland Liberty Preservation Act.


WHO:  Sara Love, Public Policy Director, ACLU of Maryland. Love will be available for media interviews.


WHEN: Tuesday, February 21, 2013; hearing begins at 1 PM. 


WHERE: House Health and Government Operations Committee, House Office Building entrance, 6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD.