We received an interesting press release from Dan Johnson at the People Against the National Defense Act (PANDA) today:
Pennsylvania State Constable Ed Quiggle, Jr., the elected Constable for the City of Sunbury’s 9th Ward, will sign a resolution in opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, also known as the NDAA, on Saturday, May 26th, 2012 at 10 a.m., in Cameron Park directly across the street from the Northumberland County Courthouse in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. The NDAA authorizes the federal government to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans and legal aliens without charge or trial.
On January 17th, 2012 the County Commissioners of Elk County, Pennsylvania unanimously passed a resolution opposing the NDAA, titled “To Preserve Habeas Corpus And Civil Liberties.” Sheriff Mike McMoran, Comanche County, Kansas, Sheriff Grayson Robinson, Arapahoe County, Colorado, and former Sheriff Richard Mack have signed resolutions opposing the NDAA and ordering no one in their department to cooperate with the enforcement of the NDAA. Virginia, Maine, and Utah have passed bills opposing and nullifying the NDAA, and many other states have introduced similar bills. Many local governments and groups have already passed resolutions.
Groups across the political spectrum are supporting the nullification and/or repeal of the NDAA, such as the ACLU, Demand Progress, Downsize DC, Gun Owners of America, Japanese American Citizens League, the Tenth Amendment Center, Oath Keepers, Amnesty International, the Patriot Coalition, PANDA – People Against the National Defense Act, Rhode Island Liberty Coalition, the John Birch Society, Reclaim Democracy, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, People’s Campaign for the Constitution, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, Physicians for Human Rights, Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness, Rabbis for Human Rights –North America, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Ron Paul and Gary Johnson Presidential campaigns, and many others.
On Wednesday, May 16th, 2012, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) held a press conference about the Smith-Amash Amendment to the NDAA, which would repeal the indefinite detention provisions. On the same day as the press conference, US District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan ruled to temporarily block Section 1021 of the NDAA pending the result of the Hedges v. Obama case. The Smith-Amash amendment failed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 182-236. Both the 10th and 11th District’s representatives, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) both voted against the Smith-Amash amendment.
Constable Ed Quiggle, Jr. was elected during the 2011 election as the Republican write-in candidate. He has lived in Sunbury since 1988 and has worked as a freelance journalist. Constable Quiggle says that he is issuing the resolution because he took an oath to the Constitutions of the US and Pennsylvania. He feels the NDAA and the PATRIOT Act violate both constitutions and are in direct conflict with the oath he took and his conscience.
The date of the signing, May 26th, also has some historical significance. “Pennsylvania has a long history of standing up for liberty, and nullifying unconstitutional federal laws,” Constable Quiggle said. On May 26th, 1857 Dred Scott was emancipated. Slaves who were taken to states where slavery was illegal, and could be kidnapped and forced to go back with their masters. There were also kidnappings of fugitive slaves who had escaped to the northern states. One personal liberty law to prevent the kidnapping of fugitive slaves was passed in Pennsylvania in 1847, and is still in effect today. The law is titled, “An Act: To prevent kidnapping, preserve the public peace, prohibit the exercise of certain powers heretofore exercised by Judges, Justices of the Peace, Alderman, and Jailors in this Commonwealth and to repeal certain slave laws.” The Constable believes this act may already partially nullify the NDAA. Also in May 26th history, in 1938 the House Un-American Activities Committee began its first session. The committee would go on to investigate the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The only committee member to oppose the Japanese internment was Rep. Herman Eberharter (D-PA), the rest of the committee seemed to support the internment.
Constable Quiggle said, “I believe I must follow my conscience and my oath to the US and Pennsylvania Constitutions. Opposing unconstitutional laws is the duty of all Americans. We are on the right side, we are patriotic Americans standing up for our inalienable rights that the government does not have the authority to take away from us. I feel all elected officials need to speak out and do whatever possible to oppose and nullify the NDAA.” Constable Quiggle is a member of the ACLU and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.
Contact information for the Constable is available on the Office of the Constable for the 9th Ward of the City of Sunbury’s website at www.SunburyPAStateConstable.us, e-mail is the preferred method of contact. A copy of the resolution is also available on the website.
It remains to be seen if enforcement of Quiggle’s resolution (PDF) will have as much bite as its press release bark, but it’s clear that the burgeoning trend of truly organized opposition at all levels of government is a growing occurrence that will certainly be hard to ignore.
Also not to miss is how close of a (write-in) election this was, with the winner being decided by drawing numbers (1-16) out of a jar.