Insurrection Act of 1807

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Insurrection Act of 1807
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act authorizing the employment of the land and naval forces of the United States, in cases of insurrections
Enacted bythe 9th United States Congress
EffectiveMarch 3, 1807
Citations
Public law9-39
Statutes at LargeStat. 443
Legislative history
Major amendments
1871, 2006, 2007

The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law (10 U.S.C. §§ 251255; prior to 2016, 10 U.S.C. §§ 331–335; amended 2006, 2007) that empowers the President of the United States to deploy U.S. military and federalized National Guard troops within the United States in particular circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.

The act provides a "statutory exception" to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which limits the use of military personnel under federal command for law enforcement purposes within the United States.[1][2]

Before invoking the powers under the Act, 10 U.S.C. § 254 requires the President to first publish a proclamation ordering the insurgents to disperse.

Purpose and content[edit]

The Act empowers the U.S. president to call into service the U.S. Armed Forces and the National Guard:

  • when requested by a state's legislature, or governor if the legislature cannot be convened, to address an insurrection against that state (§ 251),
  • to address an insurrection, in any state, which makes it impracticable to enforce the law (§ 252), or
  • to address an insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination or conspiracy, in any state, which results in the deprivation of Constitutionally-secured rights, and where the state is unable, fails, or refuses to protect said rights (§ 253).

The 1807 Act replaced the earlier Calling Forth Act of 1792, which had allowed for federalization of state militias, with similar language that allowed either for federalization of state militias or use of the regular armed forces in the case of rebellion against a state government.[3]:60

The 1807 Act has been modified twice. In 1861, a new section was added allowing the federal government to use the National Guard and armed forces against the will of the state government in the case of "rebellion against the authority of the government of the United States," in anticipation of continued unrest after the Civil War.[4] In 1871, the Third Enforcement Act revised this section (§ 253) to protect African Americans from attacks by the Ku Klux Klan. The language added at that time allows the federal government to use the act to enforce the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[3]:63–64 This section of the act was invoked during the Reconstruction era, and again during desegregation fights during the Civil Rights Era.[5]

The chief clause of the Insurrection Act, in its original 1807 verbiage (which has been thoroughly updated since to reflect modern legalese), reads:[6]

An Act authorizing the employment of the land and naval forces of the United States, in cases of insurrections Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in all cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws, either of the United States, or of any individual state or territory, where it is lawful for the President of the United States to call forth the militia for the purpose of suppressing such insurrection, or of causing the laws to be duly executed, it shall be lawful for him to employ, for the same purposes, such part of the land or naval force of the United States, as shall be judged necessary, having first observed all the pre-requisites of the law in that respect.[7][8]

In 2016, Public Law 114-328 was amended to include Guam and the US Virgin Islands under Ch. 13 jurisdiction. §252: "Use of militia and armed forces to enforce Federal authority" currently reads:

Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.[9][6]

Application[edit]

The Insurrection Act has been invoked throughout American history. In the 19th century, it was invoked during conflicts with Native Americans. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was invoked during labor conflicts. Later in the 20th century, it was used to enforce federally mandated desegregation,[10] with Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy invoking the Act in opposition to the affected states' political leaders to enforce court-ordered desegregation.[11] More recently, governors have requested and received support most recently following looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[12]

In 2006, the George W. Bush administration considered intervening in the state of Louisiana's response to Hurricane Katrina despite the refusal from Louisiana's governor, but this was inconsistent with past precedent, politically difficult, and potentially unconstitutional.[3]:73–75 A provision of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, added by an unidentified sponsor, amended the Insurrection act to permit military intervention without state consent, in case of an emergency that hindered the enforcement of laws.[1] Bush signed this amendment into law, but some months after it was enacted, all fifty state governors issued a joint statement against it, and the changes were repealed in January 2008.[1]

On June 1, 2020, President Donald Trump warned that he would invoke the Act in response to the protests following the death of George Floyd.[13][14][15] In his official June 1 statement, President Trump urged "every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers" to re-establish civil law and order "until the violence has been quelled"; however, military forces were never deployed.[16]

Invocations of the act[edit]

Date of invocation Invoking President State requested? Affected area Occasion
April 19, 1808 Thomas Jefferson Lake Champlain Embargo Act violations[11]
August 23, 1831 Andrew Jackson Yes Norfolk, Virginia Nat Turner's slave rebellion[17]
January 28, 1834 Andrew Jackson Yes Williamsport, Maryland Labor dispute by workers on Chesapeake and Ohio Canal[18]
October 17, 1871 Ulysses S. Grant No South Carolina Suppression of Ku Klux Klan[19]
September 15, 1872 Ulysses S. Grant No New Orleans, Louisiana Unrest following 1872 Louisiana gubernatorial election[20]
May 13, 1874 Ulysses S. Grant Yes Little Rock, Arkansas Brooks–Baxter War [21]
October 7, 1878 Rutherford B. Hayes Yes Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory Lincoln County War[22]
July 7, 1894 Grover Cleveland Yes Chicago, Illinois Pullman Strike[23][24]
April 28, 1914 Woodrow Wilson Yes Colorado Colorado Coalfield War[25]
July 28, 1932 Herbert Hoover Yes Washington, D.C. Conflict with Bonus Army[26]
July 22, 1943 Franklin D. Roosevelt Yes Detroit, Michigan 1943 Detroit race riot[27]
September 24, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower No Little Rock, Arkansas To protect Little Rock Nine[28]
September 30, 1962 John F. Kennedy No Oxford, Mississippi Ole Miss riot of 1962[11]:13
June 11, 1963 John F. Kennedy No Tuscaloosa, Alabama Stand in the Schoolhouse Door[29]
September 10, 1963 John F. Kennedy No Alabama Enforce desegregation orders on Alabama public schools[11]
July 24, 1967 Lyndon B. Johnson Yes Detroit, Michigan 1967 Detroit riot[30]
April 5, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson Yes Washington, D.C. 1968 Washington, D.C., riots[31]
April 7, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson Yes Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore riot of 1968[32]
April 7, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson Yes Chicago, Illinois 1968 Chicago riots[33]
September 20, 1989 George H. W. Bush Yes Saint Croix, United States Virgin Islands Disorder following Hurricane Hugo[34]
May 1, 1992 George H. W. Bush Yes Los Angeles County, California 1992 Los Angeles riots[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hoffmeister, Thaddeus (2010). "An Insurrection Act for the Twenty-First Century". Stetson Law Review. 39: 898. Once finalized, the Enforcement Act was quietly tucked into a large defense authorization bill: the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. Very few people, including many members of Congress who voted on the larger defense bill, actually knew they were also voting to modify the Insurrection Act. The secrecy surrounding the Enforcement Act was so pervasive that the actual sponsor of the new legislation remains unknown to this day.
  2. ^ Magsamen, Kelly (June 12, 2020). "4 Ways Congress Can Amend the Insurrection Act". Center for American Progress. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Banks, William C. (2009). "Providing Supplemental Security – The Insurrection Act and the Military Role in Responding to Domestic Crises" (PDF). Journal of National Security Law & Policy. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  4. ^ Coakley, Robert (1988). The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders: 1789–1878. Washington: Center of Military History, US Army. p. 228.
  5. ^ "The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Moore, Cortney (June 1, 2020). "What is the Insurrection Act?". FOXBusiness. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  7. ^ NINTH CONGRESS. SEES . H. CH. 37, 39, 40, 41 . 1807.
  8. ^ "What Is The Insurrection Act That Trump Is Threatening To Invoke?". NPR.org. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  9. ^ "[USC02] 10 USC Ch. 13: INSURRECTION". uscode.house.gov. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  10. ^ Hauser, Christine (June 2, 2020). "What Is the Insurrection Act of 1807, the Law Behind Trump's Threat to States?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d Beckler, Mark M. (2008). Insurrection Act Restored: States Likely to Maintain Authority Over National Guard in Domestic Emergencies (PDF). Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: School of Advanced Military Studies United States Army Command and General Staff College. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  12. ^ Elsea, Jennifer K. (August 14, 2006). "The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "Trump says he will deploy military if state officials can't contain protest violence". NBC News. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  14. ^ Carney, Jordain (June 1, 2020). "Cotton: Trump should use Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty military to cities". The Hill. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  15. ^ MDParadis (June 3, 2020). "Can Trump Use the Insurrection Act to Deploy Troops to American Streets?". Lawfare. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  16. ^ "Statement by the President". The White House. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  17. ^ Coakley, Robert (1988). The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders : 1789–1878. Washington: Center of Military History, US Army. p. 93.
  18. ^ Coakley, Robert (1988). The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders : 1789–1878. Washington: Center of Military History, US Army. p. 93.
  19. ^ Coakley, Robert (1988). The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders : 1789–1878. Washington: Center of Military History, US Army. p. 312.
  20. ^ Coakley, Robert (1988). The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders : 1789–1878. Washington: Center of Military History, US Army. p. 326.
  21. ^ Coakley, Robert (1988). The role of federal military forces in domestic disorders : 1789–1878. Washington: Center of Military History, US Army. p. 333.
  22. ^ Laurie; Cole (1997). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1877–1945. Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army. p. 68.
  23. ^ Eric Arnesen (2004). The Human Tradition in American Labor History. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 96. ISBN 978-0842029872. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016.
  24. ^ Laurie; Cole (1997). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1877–1945. Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army. p. 138.
  25. ^ Laurie; Cole (1997). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1877–1945. Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army. p. 208.
  26. ^ Laurie; Cole (1997). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1877–1945. Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army. p. 374.
  27. ^ Laurie; Cole (1997). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1877–1945. Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army. p. 414.
  28. ^ Scheips (2012). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1945–1992. Washington: Center of Military History. p. 46.
  29. ^ Scheips (2012). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1945–1992. Washington: Center of Military History. p. 150.
  30. ^ Scheips (2012). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1945–1992. Washington: Center of Military History. p. 46.
  31. ^ Scheips (2012). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1945–1992. Washington: Center of Military History. p. 284.
  32. ^ Scheips. The role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1945–1992. United States Army Center of Military History. p. 333.
  33. ^ Janson, Donald (April 7, 1968). "MORE SOLDIERS SENT TO CONTROL WASHINGTON AND CHICAGO RIOTS;; 5,000 Troops Are Flown To Chicago for Riot Duty 5,000 U.S. Troops Sent as Chicago Riots Spread; Death Toll Is 9, and 300 Are Hurt A YOUTH CURFEW ORDERED BY DALEY 7,500 Guard Troops Help to Patrol the City – 800 Persons Seized". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  34. ^ Scheips (2012). The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1945–1992. Washington: Center of Military History. p. 441.
  35. ^ "Operation Garden Plot, JTF-LA Joint Task Force Los Angeles". GlobalSecurity.org. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2020.

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