Bill of Rights and the NDAA

The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, and are explicit limitations on federal power, demanded by the States for ratification of the original U.S. Constitution.
The Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson and celebrated on the 4th of July each year, proclaimed that "all men are created equal", "endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights", and "That to secure these rights Governments are instituted".

The Constitution implemented the political philosophy of the Declaration, by setting forth some of the rights of man, and then by restraining government from violating those rights, with the Bill of Rights.

What are some of the rights the Constitution restrains the government from violating? (And by principle, "all" people should have these rights protected from government infringement.)

The right to be charged when being detained (writ of habeus corpus) (U.S. Constitution, Article I Section 9 paragraph 2)
The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty (presumption of innocence)
The right to trial by jury (access to judicial due process)(Bill of Rights Amendments 5 & 6)
The right to legal counsel (i.e. the right to have a lawyer) (Bill of Rights Amendments 6)

Note also that the Constitution specifies "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act or on Confession in open Court." (Article III Section 3)
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) contained highly controversial provisions that allow the indefinite detention of U.S. Citizens. While the law is clearly unConstitutional based on the "supremacy clause" of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI paragraph 2), the fact that congress passed the law on Bill of Rights Day (December 15) is deeply disturbing to many.

If Constitutional, this law would have given unprecedented power to President Obama.
Utah's Representative Chaffetz and Senator Lee voted against the NDAA of 2012 (HR540, S1867) with it's controversial provisions.
So where do the Republican Presidential candidates stand on the Bill of Rights and NDAA?

Mitt Romney - Said he supports the controversial provisions of the NDAA (source: January 16, 2012, Fox News GOP Presidential debate in South Carolina

Ron Paul - Opposes the controversial provisions of the NDAA and has introduced legislation to repeal them (

Newt Gingrich - Has not publicly opposed. (

Rick Santorum - Opposes the controversial provisions of the NDAA (



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