Posse Comitatus and the Constitution

Posse comitatus has popped up over the past few days in two different forums. I'm going to address something I've seen which irritates the hell out of me. Some people are under the misconception that the prohibition enacted in the Posse Comitatus Act (18 USC 1385) has some grand constitutional basis. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Constitution nowhere addresses the issue of using the military domestically for any purpose. The principles behind the Posse Comitatus Act are not enshrined in the Constitution and inviolate against all comers. The prohibition against the use of the military in domestic law enforcement is, as I just linked, a part of the US Code. If the Congress decides to change, revoke, or otherwise invalidate the relevant section of US Code, they are free to do so. People need to quit acting like the Posse Comitatus Act is anything other than current law. Laws can be changed quite easily.

Whether or not the law should be changed is a different kettle of fish entirely.

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