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Domestic Use of the Armed Forces to Maintain Law and Order--posse comitatus Pitfalls at the Inauguration of the 44th President



The U.S. Constitution and federal and state laws provide many circumstances where regular active duty and state militia military forces can be legitimately used to maintain law and order. There are certain restrictions on the use of certain forces domestically, the most well known of which are contained in the often misunderstood Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of such forces "to enforce the laws" unless such use is specifically authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress. However, there is no law which allows state governors to dispatch militias to Washington, DC in order to maintain law and order there, as occurred during the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

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