September 06, 2005


There has been alot of loose talk lately of shooting looters, imposing martial law, and the like. It should be remembered the federal government, unlike the States, does not have a general police power. The national government's powers come from the Constitution and the laws enacted by Congress. Consequently, your humble LMC gives as tonight's required reading: the Insurrection Act, 10 U.S.C. sections 331-335. Compare with the Posse Comitatus Act, 10 U.S.C. section 375, which effectively bars the use of federal forces for local law enforcement. You will be quizzed tomorrow.

Posted by LMC at September 6, 2005 08:34 PM | TrackBack

Professor LMC, Several questions:

(1) Posse Comitatus means literally "the force of the country". What does "a Posse Comitatus" mean in the context of American Law?

(2) Is "posse" in this sense the same as a posse formed by a lawman for the purpose of apprending outlaws (e.g. Marshal Dillon, Festus & Friends)?

(3) Aside from southern lawmakers desire to end Reconstruction in 1877(and military occupation) following the Civil War, are there other historical experiences to draw on (e.g. the role of British troops in the Colonies prior the Revolution)?

Posted by: KMR at September 7, 2005 09:12 PM
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