The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law that empowers the president of the United States to deploy military troops within the United States in specific circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.
The man whose secretary of state never denied calling a moron says he will invoke the law and send the military to US cities where there are demonstrations and riots “if a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents.”
The question is, can he do this?
To be sure, and throughout the history of this country, this law is rarely used and the last time it was invoked was back in in 1992 to quell the Los Angeles riots after the acquittal of four white police officers in the merciless beating of Rodney King, a black man.
Before that, the act was used in 1989 during widespread looting in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, after Hurricane Hugo.
So, technically, yes, he can but not as easily as he makes it sound. As I conclude below, certainly not under these circumstances.
Another question is whether the president can do this on his own, without the request of the affected state or states and here legal experts say he can.
However, there is a presumption (and this is my surmise on this) that the president taking this action is doing so for proper, safety and law and order related reasons, not to wag the dog or to impress his base on what a strongman he is or can be, or to distract from his other failures such as disastrous response to a pandemic that is still ravaging the country.
Otherwise, if there is no basis to invoke the act and one does so for these nefarious or bogus reasons, namely, to impress his base or for personal political gain, then that is clearly abuse of office and some can argue an impeachable offense.
My view on this is #GeorgeFloyd demonstrations have made their point let the action now focus on making sure the anger is converted to votes in November and let’s root out those in elective office that have been enablers of all things bad for the country, starting with the presidency and on down.
This will (a) deny the man opportunity to invoke this law and (b) make sure we need not worry about shameless and reckless shenanigans and antics like this after November.