Martial Law

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On October 17, 2006 Bush signed into law the "John Werner Defense Authorization Act." According to Senator Patrick Leahy, the law makes it much easier for the President to be declare martial law. (Source <>) Mark Dixon, over at the Groupt Think Tank blog, accurately summarizes the changes made by this law as follows:
> I compared the language amending 10 USC 333 in section 1076 of HR5122 ("Use of armed forces in major public emergencies") to the existing 10 USC 333 and found what Leahy is talking about. The Insurrection Act was designed to give the president the authority to use federal troops in the event of rebellion, insurgency or revolution. HR 5122 adds all kinds of other situations where the White House can send in federal troops including "a natural disaster, epidemic, or Other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident." It also changes "insurgents" to "insurgents or those obstructing the enforcement of the laws," giving it a much broader (and, I'm sure Leahy would agree, unintended) scope. (Source <>)
> The exact text of Section 333 of the new law reads as follows:
> '(a)(1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to-- `(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that-- `(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and `(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or `(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy . . . .
> (Source <>)

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