Last month, these members supported nearly identical language as an amendment to the NDAA, known as the Amash-Smith amendment, but it was rejected 182-231. In that vote, only 19 Republicans voted for it.
Under the bill, anyone detained on U.S. soil would have all due rights and liberties under the Constitution. The bill would also terminate the ability of the administration to hold suspects in mandatory military detention in some cases.
Rather than accept the Amash-Smith amendment to the NDAA, the House accepted one from Reps. Louie GohmertLouie GohmertGOP rep: Democrats trying to 'take away people’s civil rights' House gun control sit-in stretches into second day GOP rep confronts sit-in Dems in fiery exchange MORE (R-Texas) and Scott RigellScott RigellGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA House Republicans pushing gun control bill Overnight Regulation: Deadlocked court delivers blow to Obama immigration actions MORE (R-Va.), which affirmed that U.S. citizens would not be denied habeas corpus rights. During debate, Gohmert argued that the Amash-Smith language would go too far, potentially giving illegal immigrants who commit terrorist acts rights in the United States rights to which they are not due.
Amash and Smith, however, say the Constitution grants rights to anyone arrested on US soil, not just U.S. citizens, and that their amendment was designed to protect those rights. They also argue that the courts have shown they are able to bring terrorist subjects to justice.