What Is the Insurrection Act And Does it Give Trump the Authority to Send Military Troops Into States? Here’s What To Know
12 states of National Guard activation = Insurrection Act right?
The Insurrection Act of 1807 gives the President the power to deploy the National Guard or the military to enforce laws in certain circumstances. It expanded upon the Militia Act of 1792, which gave the president power to command state militias in cases of an insurrection or an invasion “from any foreign nation or Indian tribe.”
The Insurrection Act can be invoked if there’s an insurrection against state law and a state government requests federal assistance restoring order, says Daniel Hulsebosch, a professor of law at New York University School of Law who specializes in early U.S. legal history.
It can also be invoked if there’s an insurrection against federal law, Hulsebosch continues. Crucially, after the Civil War, Congress added a provision allowing the president to invoke the Act without a state’s permission if the state is failing to protect the Constitutional rights of its citizens.
Presidents have invoked the Insurrection Act dozens of times throughout U.S. history, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. It was invoked numerous times in the middle of the 20th century to enforce desegregation and respond to riots. For example, President Lyndon Johnson invoked the Act to deploy federal troops to Detroit in response to the 1967 riot.
Use of the act dropped off after the 1960s. The last time it was used was in 1992, during the Los Angeles riots in response to the acquittal of four white police officers who had been charged with the beating of black motorist Rodney King. (Some have compared the 1992 riots to the protests against police brutality that swept the country last week.) In that instance, California’s Governor Pete Wilson requested federal assistance suppressing the riots.
But the Act has also been invoked without a state’s permission in the past. For example, President Dwight Eisenhower invoked the Act in 1957 to send the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, Ark., to maintain order during the integration of Central High School, against the wishes of Arkansas’ governor.
😳 Looks like DC Emergency order ends tomorrow.