Sandhya Ramadas Discusses Passage of AB 351 in the Daily Journal

Bird Marella Associate Sandhya Ramadas authored the article, “AB 351 Statewide Ban on Incarcerations Without Trial” published by the Daily Journal. AB 351, which prevents the implementation of indefinite detention for any reason, was signed into California law in October of 2013. In reaction to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill restricts state funds to prohibit compliance with the NDAA and denies any state assistance to federal enforcement of the indefinite detention of so-called “enemy combatants,” including U.S. citizens, without due process.

Ms. Ramadas explains the noteworthiness of the bill’s content and passage, stating, “The bill passed largely due to its supporting coalition of unlikely allies, including organizations from across the political spectrum.” A variety of ethnic, religious and social justice organizations were also supporters in the coalition that contributed to the impressive final vote tally.

She adds, “The passage of the bill itself is largely symbolic, since the military, under the orders of the executive, can continue to carry out indefinite detentions. Nonetheless, AB 351 demonstrates the importance of coalition-building to a bill’s successful passage, particularly given the diversity of interests represented in California.”