Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on Thursday read sections of the United States Constitution on the Senate floor as lawmakers debated a highly controversial provision in the annual defense bill.
Sections 1031 and 1032 in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the Senate is debating this week, would authorize the military to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists anywhere in the world — including U.S. citizens on U.S. soil — without charge or trial.
“I took the time, as we all should from time to time serving in this body, to re-read the Constitution of the United States yesterday,” Kirk said.
He then read sections of the Constitution pertaining to trials for U.S. citizens and treason. He also read from the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment.
“It appears this legislation directly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, with regard to those rights which are inalienable according to the Declaration of Independence,” he noted.
An amendment to the legislation proposed by Democratic Senator Mark Udall would have replaced the rules and allowed intelligence officials to offer their own plan. But the amendment was rejected by a 37 to 61 vote Tuesday. Kirk and Rand Paul (KY) were the only Republican senators to vote for it.
Another less ambitious amendment, which Kirk spoke in support of Thursday, would have prevented the indefinite detention provision from being applied within the United States. That amendment failed by a vote of 45 to 55.
“The whole purpose of the [Department of Defense] is to defend the rights of the United States and U.S. citizens,” Kirk added. “One of the first things you do when you join the U.S. military is not to swear allegiance to a president — you actually swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States.”
The Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have all sent letters to Congress opposing the indefinite detention provision. The White House has threatened to veto the entire bill because of it.
Kirk concluded his more than 12-minute-long speech by encouraging his colleagues to re-read the Constitution.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:
Morning Joe panel brutally dismantles Lindsey Graham for doubling down and backing Trump’s extreme racism
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough was left speechless by Sen. Lindsey Graham's impassioned defense of President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen.
The "Morning Joe" host sat in stunned silence after rolling video of the South Carolina Republican defending Trump's tweets, and doubling down by hurling his own slurs against the first-year lawmakers.
"You call Americans in Congress communists?" Scarborough said, after gathering his thoughts, "and you say they hate America? And then your punch line to that is aim higher?"
Scarborough, who served alongside Graham as a Republican congressman, said the episode was a shameful new low for the veteran lawmaker.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe explains the ‘stupid’ reason Trump is cranking up his extremist racist rants
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough believes President Donald Trump's racist attacks on Democratic lawmakers are both a political calculation and an essential element of character.
Sam Stein, senior politics editor for HuffPost, wondered whether Trump was telling the four lawmakers -- all women of color, all American citizens and all but one born in the U.S. -- to go back to their home countries because he was genuinely just racist, and not playing a cynical gambit for racist voters, but the "Morning Joe" host said both could be true.
"I think it can be both," Scarborough said. "I think it can be deeply embedded in his character and at the same time, I think he read Maureen Dowd's (New York Times) column on Sunday morning an said, 'Oh, wait a second, Democrats are fighting each other, let me drive a wedge between the two sides, and I'll attack the four people that Nancy Pelosi is attacking.'"
Trump is ‘one pointy white hat shy of a Klan rally’: GOP strategist Rick Wilson ripped Trump as a ‘flagrant racist’ on MSNBC
Republican strategy ripped President Donald Trump for being a "flagrant racist" during a Monday night appearance on MSNBC.
Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Wilson about Trump's latest nativist attacks on young women of color in Congress.
"Rick Wilson, is this a campaign strategy? Is this Donald Trump and his campaign advisers thinking, well, our only hope is going for the voters we already have and energizing them and getting them to come and squeak out that electoral formula once again?" O'Donnell asked.
"Absolutely, Lawrence. As everyone else stated on the show, it’s been obvious for a long time from the long arc of his dad to redling to the Central Park Five to birtherism to this stuff today, this guy, he's racist adjacent in of the best day of his life," Wilson is explained.