Updated: Dec 21, 2020
A Republican North Carolina state senator just called on President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act. A lot of people on social media are debating the pros and cons of such an action, but a lot of people seem to be a bit confused about what it is, so let us at World Wire News break it down for you.
The origination of the Insurrection Act date back over 200 years ago, to a strange chapter in American history. It was a time when Aaron Burr, who was just formerly, the 3rd Vice President of the United States alongside Thomas Jefferson, before being jettisoned amongst some political scandals. Between 1805 and 1806, Burr plotted to raise an army and establish his own dynasty in what today would be the Louisiana Territory or Mexico. Whether Burr was attempting to form his own country, or to build an army to take on the U.S. force to this day still remains unclear.
In response, Thomas Jefferson established and Congress passed a one-sentence statute:
“In all cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws, either of the United States, or of any individual state or territory, where it is lawful for the President of the United States to call forth the militia for the purpose of suppressing such insurrection, or of causing the laws to be duly executed, it shall be lawful for him to employ, for the same purposes, such part of the land or naval force of the United States, as shall be judged necessary, having first observed all the prerequisites of the law in that respect.”
So the Insurrection Act of 1807 gives the presiding President of the U.S. the power to deploy the military or national guard to enforce laws in certain circumstances such as if there is an insurrection against state or federal law.
In the history of the United States since, Presidents have invoked the Insurrection Act dozens of times according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. It was invoked multiple times during the 20th century to enforce desegregation and respond to riots. President Lyndon Johnson invoked the Act to deploy federal troops to Detroit in response to the riots of 1967, and has been used most recently during the 1992 Rodney King riots.
Under the Act, the President does not need the states permission before taking action. In 1957 we had President Eisenhower invoke the Act to send the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, Ark. To keep the peace during integration of the High School against the permission of the Arkansas governor.
President Trump has already repeatedly referenced the Insurrection Act during the time of widespread protests and looting in the country, threatening to invoke the Act unless state officials started responding. So the Act is one President Trump is already very familiar with.
Within the last two days, multiple Republican senators, including Bob Steinburg of North Carolina and Amanda F. Chase of Virginia have both come out and declared that President Trump should utilize the Act to stay in power.
Republican supporters who are pushing for more drastic action are arguing that under the Act, the President would be well within his rights to invoke the Act if there were insurrections against either state or federal law. They argue that there is sufficient evidence of both systematic fraud attacking both the state and federal elections that the invoking of this Act would be warranted.
Let us know in the comments section below if you are for or against this potential action.