Monday, April 10, 2017

From the Archives: Bob Marshall on Virginia’s response to NDAA, why he aims for the Senate

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on on April 10, 2012. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

Bob Marshall on Virginia’s response to NDAA, why he aims for the Senate
April 10, 2012 7:16 PM MST

Delegate Bob Marshall is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Senator Jim Webb in a primary election on June 12. In the 2008 U.S. Senate race, Marshall came within a few votes of defeating former Governor Jim Gilmore at a state GOP nominating convention.

Bob Marshall NDAA Senate Virginia politics 2012 election
Marshall is the author of HB 1160, a bill written in response to the passage last year of provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that permit the president to detain indefinitely, without trial, American citizens suspected of ties to terrorism. HB 1160 passed both chambers of the General Assembly with large majorities.

After the legislator spoke to a group of conservative political activists in Richmond on April 10, the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner asked Marshall about the significance of that bill, which is likely to get the General Assembly’s final approval later this month after it considers a few minor amendments from Governor Bob McDonnell.

Freedom or serfdom

“It’s the significance of being a free citizen and being a serf,” Marshall said.

“I introduced House Bill 1160, which was a response to a statute that Congress passed [NDAA] that basically said the President (or any president) can take American citizens off the streets, not charge them with anything, not give them opportunity for counsel, not go to trial, not face their accuser – this is unprecedented in American history and the ostensible reason was, ‘Well, there are people committing treason out here for al-Qaeda.’”

Rick Sincere gay Bob Marshall Virginia politics
Rick Sincere and Bob Marshall
That reasoning, to Marshall, was insufficient justification for giving the President this new authority.

“The Constitution has a specific provision for how Congress is supposed to treat Americans charged with treason,” he explained, noting that James Madison in the Federalist Papers had “said Congress was limited in how it prosecuted treason because treason in England was a recipe for going after your political enemies.”

The Framers, he continued, wanted to restrict the authority of Congress with regard to treason.

“There is a constitutional remedy for treason,” Marshall said.

The NDAA provisions were passed by Congress despite reported objections by the Obama administration although, Marshall said, President Obama is “on both sides of this issue,” because while “he wanted any provision in there that prevented him from detaining people taken out,” when he signed the bill he said, “‘Well, I won’t use this power you’ve just given me.’ That’s hard to fathom.”

Why run for Senate?

With regard to his decision to run for the U.S. Senate this year, Marshall said that “the fact that I ran in 2008 and came so close was an incentive for me to consider it but I really couldn’t do it until after I ran the House of Delegates race” in 2011, where he was running in a district that was at half new to him.

In that campaign, he said, “I had to introduce myself to voters. I do this at the ground level, knocking on doors, and I didn’t want them to think that I’m just doing this as a stepping stone” to higher office.

Although Marshall had been in elected office for 20 years, many of his new constituents “didn’t know that,” so he postponed a decision about the Senate race until after he had secured his re-election to the House of Delegates.

After last year’s election, he added, “I called around the state to see” whether there would “be support for a candidate like myself. When I found out there was, I decided to enter it.”

In part two of this interview, Bob Marshall explains how he intends to earn the votes of libertarians and talks about political figures he admires.

Suggested Links

Libertarian Party praises Virginia legislators for anti-NDAA bill
Environmental activist David Rothbard says 'lift up people and nature together'
Virginia 5th District candidate John Douglass calls for ‘new policies’
Senate hopeful E.W. Jackson claims libertarian backing, unique qualities
Presidential hopeful Gary Johnson on health care, marriage, and Colbert

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