Commentary: Protect Americans by Protecting Due Process

U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek speaks out against vague language in legislation

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By Rep. Dan Benishek

Imagine government without responsibility toward its citizens — let me give you a hint, it looks a lot like Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime.

America is blessed with a Constitution that protects Americans so they are not afraid that each new leader will turn the country into a fascist nation. No matter how much anyone disagrees with a president's policies, we can take solace in the protections of the Constitution.

The Constitution's authority is supreme and every piece of legislation must fit within the Constitution's limits.

This is why I, along with many constituents of Michigan's 1st District were so worried about the latest National Defense Authorization Act, better known as NDAA. The NDAA is what protects us from terrorist and funds our military. It is essential to keeping America safe.

The language of the NDAA was unclear and many worried that it gave the president the right to detain American citizens without due process. As a Constitutional conservative I could not sleep well at night knowing there was ambiguous legislation out there that could, if used improperly, allow the president to thwart the Constitution.

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That is why when it came to a vote I supported an amendment by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, which clarified that the president lacks the ability to unlawfully detain Americans without due process. These rights are guaranteed in Article III of our Constitution, but I wanted to make sure that no American had to worry or fear for their rights.

I am not a politician, I am doctor. I care about my neighbors, friends and fellow Michiganders and that is why I will always vote to protect our liberties.

America is the greatest country in the world and this vote was my way of defending everything that makes us great. I refuse to even entertain the possibility that America becomes the next Syria due to vague language in legislation. Our rights are guaranteed and I plan to keep it that way.

Dr. Dan Benishek is a Republican from Crystal Falls and the Congressman for Michigan's 1st District. He serves on the Committee on Natural Resources and Veteran Affairs.


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Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change.

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