California Measure to Deter Extremism in State Military Passes Crucial Committee Vote 

Gavel with open book and scales on table

Gavel with open book and scales on table

By Gabriela Rose

SACRAMENTO, CA – California State Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana) this week said a measure targeting allegedly high levels of extremism in the California National and State Guard has advanced through the Assembly Military & Veterans Affairs Committee.

SB 901, “Combating Extremism in the National Guard,” proposes the prevention of enlistment or administrative discharge for members of the California National and State Guard who engage in “extremist” activity.

The issue arose as a result of current policy addressing extremism in the U.S. Dept. of Defense, as noted in Umberg’s statement.

The Defense Department Inspector General, said Umberg, reported 281 extremism investigations in 2021, and the Annual Threat Assessment published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in 2023 stated the U.S. intelligence community believed racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism to be the “most lethal threat” to Americans.

The lawmaker’s statement discusses an in-depth report conducted by the Pentagon on prohibited extremist activities in the U.S. Department of Defense, and found contradictory policies, clearances that failed to prevent the recruitment of extremists, and faulty data collection within the department.

Umberg said these issues were discovered to be more severe in the National Guard, which lacks the military’s stricter policies of equal inclusion.

The measure’s fact sheet explains current law on extremism, stating commanders of the California National Guard are given punishment options including administrative discharge, but there is no requirement to use that punishment.

The statement by the senator noted the measure passed the Assembly Military & Veterans Affairs Committee on a bi-partisan vote of 9-0 and will now move on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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