December 21, 2011
Following the fatal shooting of a toddler in a crime ridden New Orleans housing project, a Louisiana state representative has called for what amounts to martial law.
Austin Badon contacted Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office Monday and asked that the National Guard be deployed. Jindal’s office said Badon was told that any such a request would have to come from the New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the Constitution, the National Guard – considered a state militia – is authorized to “execute the laws of the Union and suppress Insurrections and repel Invasion.” The Constitution says nothing about dispatching the military to fight domestic crime, a task usually undertaken by local law enforcement.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Since the National Defense Act (or Militia Act) of 1903, the federal government has worked to absorb the National Guard and take control of it away from the states. In 2007, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act moved to remove state governors as sole commanders in chief of their state’s National Guard during emergencies within the state.
On December 18, presidential candidate Ron Paul warned (see video below) that the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed recently by the House and now under consideration in the Senate will be used by the government to implement martial law. The bill would allow the military to detain Americans and prevent them from exercising their right to due process under the Sixth Amendment.
Deploying federally controlled troops in post-Katrina New Orleans is another attempt to circumvent Posse Comitatus and acclimate citizens to the presence of armed troops on the streets.
In August of 2005, New Orleans served as a beta test for FEMA command and control over state and local jurisdiction and autonomy. It was also used for gun confiscation. FEMA, as we have documented, is primarily concerned with “civil disturbance” and martial law, not disaster relief.
“This should be the biggest news going right now,” Ron Paul told Alex Jones as the House prepared to pass the NDAA bill. “It is literally legalizing martial law.” He pointed out that the NDAA’s violations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are remarkably not even discussed in the GOP presidential “debates” conducted by the establishment media.
Rep. Austin Badon no doubt is sincere about stopping violence – most of it a product of the federally-declared war on drugs – but calling for troops on the streets is obviously not the way to go about it. Control of the National Guard has been federalized.
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 strictly forbids federal troops from being deployed on American soil for the purpose of law enforcement. The one exception is provided by the Insurrection Act of 1807, which lets the president use the military only for the purpose of preventing rebellions. This is not the case in New Orleans. With the passage of the NDAA, the federal government will likely use the National Guard in any effort to round-up and intern U.S. citizens.
The federal government nullified this important firewall when it equated natural disaster – and epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident – with insurrection. It did this by modifying the Insurrection Act – not by constitutional amendment, but by passing legislation that violates the original intent of Article I, Section 8, Clause 15.
State governors were outraged and sent a letter to Congress protesting the “dramatic expansion of federal authority during natural disasters that could cause confusion in the command-and-control of the National Guard and interfere with states’ ability to respond to natural disasters within their borders.”