Rep. Justin Amash. 2011 AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

It’s not often that a freshman Congressman makes such a splash in D.C. Though since our founding PANDA has focused on the state and local levels, this young Representative’s name keeps coming across our radar, and for good reason.

When it comes to resisting the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), there is no greater champion on the Hill than Michigan Representative Justin Amash. Here are 5 reasons he is leading the NDAA Resistance on Capitol Hill:

1. He regularly speaks out about the NDAA

Within days of the Senate vote on the 2012 NDAA, Amash published “The Truth about the New Detainee Policy” in Red State, one of America’s most influential Republican blogs, slamming the Senate’s decision to allow the indefinite military detention of citizens without trial. He gathered a coalition to fight the sections, called out their dangers in town halls, fact-checked the House Armed Service Committee’s “fact sheet” on the detention provisions, and he continues to support amendments to block the NDAA in the House.

2. He introduced the Smith-Amash amendment the year after the 2012 NDAA passed

Talk is cheap, particularly in politics. Yet Rep. Amash did more than just talk. Together with Adam Smith (D-WA), Amash introduced the Smith-Amash amendment to repeal the detention provisions in the 2012 NDAA. Though it failed in the House, Amash was able to successfully show that Republicans were complete hypocrites when they talk about Constitutional rights. The amendment failed 237-182.

3. He heralded the Smith-Gibson Amendment in 2013, and Smith-Broun in 2014

Not to be deterred by the failure of his last amendment, Amash supported the identical Smith-Gibson Amendment the next year, once again to repeal the detention provisions hidden in the 2012 NDAA. This time, Amash and smith were able to gather an even larger coalition of Representatives, bringing the vote to a much closer loss of only 200-226. He voted “yea” once again on the Smith-Broun amendment in 2014, bringing the total times he supported an amendment to repeal the detention provisions to three.

4. He even goes outside of Congress

This is one thing that makes Amash stand out above just about anyone in Congress. When a bill was introduced in the Washington state legislature with intent to prohibit the 2012 NDAA’s detention provisions, Rep. Amash sent a detailed letter of his support for a bill that would never affect him and was nowhere near his district.

5. He won’t allow false fixes to slant his vote

One of the most dangerous threats to true liberty is false security. How better to disable a resistance movement, than, while changing nothing, convincing them they have won?

Amash has so far had none of that. He correctly spoke out against the Feinstein-Lee Amendment in 2012, a false fix heralded by many as the end of NDAA indefinite detention, even when powerful Senators like Rand Paul and Mike Lee supported it.

A freshman Congressman is leading the NDAA Resistance in D.C.

If he can do it, where are you?


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Dan Johnson is the Founder and National Director of People Against the NDAA. This post does not constitute an endorsement of any candidate or candidate’s campaign.