Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Trump: Military will guard border. U.S. Code: No it won't.

The first part of my headline was the front-page news in this morning’s Daily Star.

President Donald Trump, annoyed by the lack of progress on fulfilling the signature promise of his campaign, said he wants to use the military to secure the U.S.-Mexico border until his “big, beautiful wall” is erected.

The second part of my headline captures the essence of the response from AZBlueMeanie (Blog for Arizona) who asks Militarize the border? Has this fool ever heard of posse comitatus?

Apparently not.

Posse Comitatus is “the authority under which a county sheriff, or other law officer, conscripts any able-bodied man to assist her or him in keeping the peace.” The U.S. Code prohibits use of federal troops in that role.

Here’s a synopsis of the Blue Meanie’s post.

18 U.S. CODE § 1385 – USE OF ARMY AND AIR FORCE AS POSSE COMITATUS
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

The purpose of the Posse Comitatus Act – in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807 – is to limit the powers of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States.

The Posse Comitatus Act does not apply to the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard under state authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within its home state or in an adjacent state if invited by that state’s governor.

When so used, the National Guard functions “in a support role to the Border Patrol, not a direct law enforcement role for the military.”

Republicans always want to use our military as if it is a Praetorian Guard to an imperial presidency. This is an especially dangerous thing to do with an authoritarian wannabe autocrat like Donald Trump.

Commenter For Sure Note Tom adds “Trump doesn’t understand how America works, he thinks the POTUS is a dictator.”

That is precisely the problem with Trump as President. He increasingly acts as Trump as King. That has to stop. A first step is to rid ourselves of a Cowardly Compliant Congress in November and then overthrow the Trumpian monarchy.

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