Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press file, 2012

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks says detaining terror suspects indefinitely violates rights to due process and speedy trials by an impartial jury, plus other violations.

The Buzz: New bill would bar California from honoring indefinite detention law

Published: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 - 8:08 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Friday, Apr. 5, 2013 - 6:24 am

Bill would make it a crime to enforce a U.S. terror law

Enforce the law, go to jail?

A Republican assemblyman wants to make it a crime in California to enforce a federal law that allows terror suspects to be detained indefinitely, even when no charges have been filed.

Assembly Bill 351 by Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks would allow officials to be charged with a misdemeanor if they enforce the federal detention law in California.

Donnelly said detaining suspects indefinitely violates constitutional and law enforcement rights to due process, speedy trials by an impartial jury, and freedom from unreasonable searches and cruel or unusual punishments.

"I'm absolutely committed to wiping out terrorism, but we must safeguard our constitutional rights," Donnelly said. "I'm not trying to stop the federal government from doing their job, I'm trying to stop them from an overreach of power," he said.

If AB 351 had been the law in World War II, it would have prohibited Japanese Americans from being forced into internment camps, Donnelly said.

President Barack Obama signed the indefinite-detention law as part of a wide-ranging defense-spending law. He expressed reservations about the measure's detention powers, however, in acting on the bill in December 2011.


Assembly Republicans want a state audit on the enforcement of reporting requirements designed to prevent dangerously mentally ill people from obtaining firearms. GOP Assemblymen Katcho Achadjian of San Luis Obispo and Allan Mansoor or Costa Mesa noted a national study – that did not include California – showed a significant lack of compliance.


"An average of 200 people a day move here from California. There's a suburb here, Keller, that is now nicknamed 'Kellerfornia.' "

BUD KENNEDY, columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, during an online chat on the virtues of Texas and California.

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