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What responsibilities do I have when using this report? Dates and time periods associated with this report. You Are Here: home unt libraries government documents department this report. Showing of 69 pages in this report. Creation Information Creator: Unknown. Who People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content. Creator We've been unable to identify the creator s of this report.

Publisher Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. Place of Publication: Washington D. About Browse this Partner. What Descriptive information to help identify this report. Language English. Item Type Report. Identifier Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems. Collections This report is part of the following collection of related materials. The Posse Comitatus Act of was a direct response to the increasing use of the military for civilian purposes in the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. On many occasions troops had been used to quell civil disturbances, to help form governments in the southern states, and to enforce civil laws.

This issue came to a head when Rutherford B Hayes won the disputed presidential election of Accusations were quickly made that troops sent to the southern states to act as a posse comitatus for federal marshals at the polls assisted in providing the President with the essential votes. In a Democrat controlled House of Representatives passed an army appropriations bill 20 Stat , which contained language expressly prohibiting the use of the army as a posse comitatus.

The act therefore rejected the Mansfield Doctrine that troops could be used in a civilian capacity as long as they were subject to civilian law, and equated the use of troops with martial law.

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The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law

The text of the act has essentially remained unaltered except for the addition of the Air Force in 70A Stat , however Congress has created expansions to the number of statutory exceptions to the act e. The language of the Act calls for two instances when the Act does not apply; when an exception is expressly authorized by the Constitution, and when Congress expressly authorizes an exception.

The first of these provisions has created much confusion in the application of the Act since the Constitution contains no provision expressly authorizing the use of the military to enforce the law. Much of the literature discussing the constitutional exceptions of the Act therefore focuses upon the conflict between the implied and inherent constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

The second provision allowing for exceptions to the Act, Congressional authorization, has been applied in two ways; by providing a branch of the armed services with civilian law enforcement capabilities, and by establishing rules for specific types of assistance, thereby tailoring specific statutory exceptions to fit particular circumstances. In the first instance Congress has expressly authorized the Coast Guard to carry out law enforcement duties during peacetime, most notably enforcement of anti-drug laws 14 USC 2. In times of war authority for the Coast Guard transfers from the Department of Transportation to the Navy, however under the statutory exceptions created by Congress the Coast Guard can still fulfill its law enforcement duties.

Second, Congress has enacted numerous pieces of legislation permitting the use of military assistance and equipment in aiding civilian law enforcement see in particular 10 USC During the course of the siege the federal civilian law enforcement authorities made extensive use of material, personnel and equipment provided by the military.

The assistance provided by the military ultimately led to the undermining of the charges against those arrested, and it became clear that Congress needed to address the need for statutory exclusions to the original Act. In addition to statutory exceptions concerning providing civil law enforcement with assistance, Congress has also enacted legislation providing for exceptions during times of civil disturbance 10 USC , 10 USC The regulations promulgated under these statutes provide for the protection of federal property and government functions, and authorizes the use of the military in states of emergency when civil authorities are unable to control the situation 32 CFR Additional legislation has been enacted covering instances when nuclear material is involved in an emergency 18 USC e.

At first glance it would appear that the Posse Comitatus Act embodies the principle of the separation of the military from civilian law enforcement, a principle that has been an essential component of Anglo-American legal history since the Magna Carta. However, it is interesting to note that no one has ever been convicted of violating 18 USC , and when needed Congress has been quick to create statutory exceptions as permitted by the Act.

The Act has therefore succeeded in putting forth an ideal, but has fallen woefully short in creating a practical, legal impediment to the use of the military for civil law enforcement. It could even be argued that the Act has only served to legitimize the military role of a posse comitatus by providing Congress with the ability to create its own exceptions whenever the need arises. Removed from Title 10 and added to Title August 10, , ch.

September 13, , P. December 1, , P. Insurrection , 10 USC August 10, , ch. The Posse Comitatus Act. June 3, Department of Defense Authorization Act Report of the House Committee on the Judiciary, H. June 12, Military Cooperation with Civilian Law Enforcement. July 28, April 24, The Role of the Military in Drug Interdiction. May 10, June 9, June 14, Role of the Department of Defense in Drug Interdiction.

June 15, Committee print issued by the House Committee on Armed Services. August 24, Civil Disturbances, Army Regulation This directive essentially replaced 32 CFR The following represent only select, landmark cases interpreting the Posse Comitatus Act and should therefore not be viewed as a comprehensive guide to caselaw on the topic.

Laird v. I'm hoping to rely on loyal readers, rather than erratic ads. Click the Donate button and support. The History of the Posse Comitatus in American Law The American experience with the posse comitatus began in the colonial period with the repeated use of military troops to suppress disorders in the colonies. The Posse Comitatus Act The Posse Comitatus Act of was a direct response to the increasing use of the military for civilian purposes in the Reconstruction period following the Civil War.

The Application of the Posse Comitatus Act The language of the Act calls for two instances when the Act does not apply; when an exception is expressly authorized by the Constitution, and when Congress expressly authorizes an exception. Conclusion At first glance it would appear that the Posse Comitatus Act embodies the principle of the separation of the military from civilian law enforcement, a principle that has been an essential component of Anglo-American legal history since the Magna Carta.

Senate Document Insurrection in a State, 8 Op.

Features – The Posse Comitatus Act: A Resource Guide – LLRX

Employment of the Military as a Posse, 16 Op. Suppression of Lawlessness in Arizona, 17 Op. Marshal of Indian Territory, 19 Op. Indian Territory — Use of Military, 21 Op. Jaramillo DC Neb F. Supp United States v. Supp United States v. Baranzini, Richard D.


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Benson, Nolon J. Bioff, Allan L. Use of Troops to Enforce Federal Laws. Boschee, Larry L. Brinkerhoff, John. The Army Lawyer. Bunch, Jason Michael. Thesis, The University of South Dakota, Burnett, Paul C. Thesis, University of South Carolina, Chase, David. Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Army Command and General Staff College, Coakley, Robert. Washington, DC. Center of Military History Coffee, John. Davis, Kent. Dowell, Cassius. Military Aid to the Civil Power. Diehl, James G. Carlisle Barracks, PA, U.

Army War College Donesa, Christopher A. Doyle, Charles. Use of the Military to Enforce Civilian Law.

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