Posse Comitatus Act


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Posse Comitatus Act,

1878, U.S. federal law that makes it a crime to use the military as a domestic police force in the United States under most circumstances. The law was designed to end the use of federal troops to supervise elections in the post–Civil War South. The posse comitatus (from which the term posse derives) is the power or force of the county, and refers to citizens above the age of 15, who may be summoned by a sheriff to enforce the law. The act specifically prohibited the use of the U.S. army as a posse comitatus; the prohibition was later extended by legislation to the air force and by government directive to the marine corps and navy. The restriction does not apply to the coast guard during peacetime or the national guard when it is under state authority. There are legal exceptions to the law, particularly in aspects of drug law enforcement, in emergency situations, and in cases of rebellion.
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Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 67, Section 1385, "Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus" (commonly referred to as the Posse Comitatus Act).
SJA will also develop legal training for CPs, to include no less than Posse Comitatus Act and its relations to CP operations, limitations on detention of Soldiers by CP's and Rules for the Use of Force.
intelligence entities are subject to the Posse Comitatus Act, which
Brinkerhoff, "The Posse Comitatus Act and Homeland Security," ANSER Institute Homeland Defense Journal, February 2002, on-line, Internet, 28 February 2002, available from www.homelandsecuricy.org/journal/articles/displayarticle.asp/article= 30.
The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the US military from operating on American soil, and there's no evidence that drones have violated it so far.
Although each CCMRF contains forces for its own security, response to civil disturbances is not part of the CCMRF mission set and DOD adheres to the "Posse Comitatus Act." The mobilization of Reserve Component forces within CCMRFs is predicated upon legal authority in specific sections of the USC.
When ordering title 10 forces to perform this mission, the DSC must don his "federal hat." When directing state NG forces, which may be conducting law enforcement activities in accordance with state law, the DSC must instead don his "state" hat so as not to run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act or DoD policy.
Therefore, they always operate under the control of the President, receive federal pay and benefits, and are subject to the Posse Comitatus Act (49) in the same way that active duty military personnel are.
The Post article notes there are some critics who worry that the new move may "possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement." However, the Bush administration's new policy of deploying federal troops in American cities and communities does more than "possibly undermine" the Posse Comitatus Act; it guts the act and the protections that it provided American citizens against military dictatorship.
It is not just a Posse Comitatus issue, Keating said, referring to the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act intended to keep the Army from conducting domestic law enforcement.
The most fundamental limitation placed on the military's actions in domestic affairs is the well known but poorly understood Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.
Verick points out that the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibits the military from involvement in domestic spying and police operations.