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Mike Lee: Why would Lindsey Graham block a vote to protect Americans' due process rights?

On Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called out fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for blocking an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would protect Americans from detention without trial or charge.

Lee's Due Process Guarantee Act was authored with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and has bipartisan support. His law would amend a provision that was added to the NDAA in 2012 that enabled the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on American soil.

"It simply says that if you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may not be indefinitely detained on U.S. soil without trial, without charge, without access to a jury or to counsel," Lee explained on the floor of the United States Senate Wednesday. A super-majority of senators voted against a motion to table Lee's amendment, agreeing that the amendment should receive a floor vote.

Unanimous consent of the Senate is required to bring up Lee's amendment to the NDAA, but Graham has objected, blocking a vote on the amendment. Lee gave a speech Thursday urging Graham to reconsider his actions and let the Senate vote on the amendment.

He posted a video of his speech to his personal Facebook account, writing that Graham's objection was "a curious one, given that the overwhelming majority of senators want to vote on this proposal, and especially considering that Senator Graham himself voted for a nearly identical version of this amendment six years ago!"

Indefinite detention, as authorized by section 1021 of the NDAA "violates everything we know about our system of government," Lee said. "It violates everything we know about the laws of any decent nation, any nation that recognizes the fundamental, essential, eternal dignity of the human soul. This is not something we do here in the United States."

"This is wrong, and the wrongness of that provision, which would be corrected by my amendment, is compounded still by the refusal of this body, by the refusal of one member of this body, one member out of 100, to allow us to get a vote on this. We must vote on this," Lee said.

He also took his case to Twitter, where among other things he said, "Anyone who doesn't want the Senate to vote on the Due Process Guarantee Act likes Nickleback. True fact!"

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