What Is the Insurrection Act And Does it Give Trump the Authority to Send Military Troops Into States? Here’s What To Know

President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to send the United States military into states if the unrest that has swept multiple U.S. cities continues to grow, citing a 213-year-old law, the Insurrection Act of 1807, as his legal authority.

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” the President said Monday evening. He announced he had already authorized thousands of troops to deploy to Washington D.C. in response to days of increasing unrest in the city.

Over the past week, protests in response to the murder of George Floyd — a 46-year-old black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 — have swept the U.S.. While most protests have been peaceful, some demonstrations have grown violent, and governors have already activated over 17,000 National Guard members in at least 23 states, according to the National Guard Bureau. The National Guard has also been deployed to Washington D.C., in addition to the military troops who arrived in the capital city Monday night.

Washington D.C. is a federal district, meaning the president has authority to deploy troops there if he chooses. However, deploying troops to the rest of the U.S. is less simple. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1978 says the military cannot enforce law in U.S. states or territories without the express authorization of Congress. However, the Insurrection Act, which was passed by Congress and is itself an express authorization, provides an exception, legal experts tell TIME.

“There’s this long tradition of not wanting the military to be used to enforce federal law, or federal Constitutional rights,” says Saikrishna Prakash, a professor of law at the University of Virginia Law School whose work focuses on executive power. “But there’s also been a long tradition of it actually being used.” The Insurrection Act was invoked multiple times to enforce desegregation during the Civil Rights Movement, for example.

Here’s what to know about the Insurrection Act and the power it gives the president.

What is the Insurrection Act of 1807?

The Insurrection Act of 1807 gives the President the power to deploy the National Guard or the military to enforce laws in certain circumstances. It expanded upon the Militia Act of 1792, which gave the …read more

Source:: Time – Politics


GOP Considers Moving Convention After North Carolina Governor Says Taking Health Precautions ‘Is a Necessity’

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — North Carolina’s governor said Tuesday that the GOP must prepare for a scaled-back Charlotte convention because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the national Republican chairwoman responding that organizers would begin visiting other potential host cities.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said in a letter to the top convention organizer and the national GOP chairwoman that he’s happy to continue conversations over how to hold the convention safely, and is still awaiting a safety plan requested by North Carolina officials.

“The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity,” Cooper said in the letter.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, one of the recipients of Cooper’s letter, released a statement saying that while the party would like to hold its event in Charlotte, “we have an obligation to our delegates and nominee to begin visiting the multiple cities and states” that have reached out to express interest in hosting. Governors of Tennessee, Florida and Georgia are among the leaders who have said they would be interested in hosting if North Carolina falls through.

Wednesday was the deadline from the GOP for assurances from Cooper. Last week, Trump demanded Cooper that guarantee him a full-scale event and answer him within a week. Otherwise, he has threatened to move the event elsewhere.

North Carolina faces an upward trend in its virus cases, with Mecklenburg County having more cases and deaths than any other county.

During a briefing before Cooper’s letter became public, North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley acknowledged that some changes would likely need to be made for safety but still maintained that Republican leaders want assurances from Cooper that a “full-scale” convention can be held.

“Look, we’re not going to move forward with any activities that do not follow federal, state or local requirements and regulations. So, we need to know what those requirements are going to be,” he said, citing the original Wednesday deadline.

Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College, said that Cooper’s popularity in North Carolina may give him a stronger position than Trump to convince the public that his approach is correct.

But given the impasse and the Wednesday deadline, Bitzer said it’s hard to imagine Cooper and Trump will strike a deal that fully satisfies both sides.

“The deadline is gonna push one side to do one …read more

Source:: Time – Politics


Joe Biden’s Empathy Offensive

In his latest audition to be America’s Healer-in-Chief, Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech on Tuesday about the fight against systemic racism, which he said was fundamental to a “battle for the soul of the nation” this election year. “The country is crying out for leadership,” Biden said, speaking at a podium at Philadelphia City Hall, flanked by American flags. “Leadership that can unite us, leadership that brings us together, leadership that can recognize the pain and deep grief of communities that have had a knee on their neck for a long time.”

The speech was the latest in Biden’s empathy offensive—a series of remarks and public appearances that talk about the pain at the heart of the nationwide protests, while calling for unity to confront systemic racism. Biden’s strategy is to make his presidential campaign a contrast between character and empathy on his part and antagonism and bluster on Trump’s. In the process, Biden is hoping to demonstrate a model of leadership rooted in shared suffering and compassion, themes that have animated his political career.

As he has often done over his decades in public life, Biden spoke Tuesday about personal mourning and historical grief, this time in the context of communities protesting the continuing scourge of racial injustice. “We’re a nation in pain, but we must not let our pain destroy us,” he said. “We’re a nation enraged, but we cannot let our rage consume us. We’re a nation that’s exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.”

Those themes serve his larger goal of drawing a character contrast with the President’s response. Trump, who tweeted that the protesters were “THUGS” and vowed that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” had spent the weekend threatening protesters outside the White House with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons,” and urged the nation’s governors to “dominate” the protesters, whom he called “terrorists.” On Monday, Trump delivered a speech in the Rose Garden threatening the use of military force against protests and vowing to “end it now.”

Biden, by contrast, used the Tuesday speech as an opportunity to illustrate a different vision of leadership. “I look at the presidency as a very big job, and nobody will get it right every time, and I won’t either,” he said in Philadelphia. “But I promise you this: I won’t traffic in fear and division, I won’t fan the flames …read more

Source:: Time – Politics


Washington Archbishop Calls Trump’s Visit to Catholic Shrine ‘Baffling and Reprehensible’

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump toured a Catholic shrine on Tuesday in his second straight religious-themed appearance as the nation grappled with widespread unrest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Critics said the president was misusing religious symbols for partisan purposes. The White House said Trump and first lady Melania Trump were observing a “moment of remembrance,” laying a wreath in a quiet visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine.

The visit came a day after Trump declared himself to be the “president of law and order” and then walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House after Lafayette Park was forcibly cleared of protesters. He held up a Bible for photos in front of the church, known as “The Church of the Presidents,” which had been damaged by fire during weekend protests.

On Tuesday’s drive to the shrine, Trump’s motorcade sped past National Guard members deployed around the World War II Memorial. Some onlookers along the route booed, held “Black lives matter” signs or made obscene gestures as the convoy rolled past.

Back at the White House, Trump signed an executive order to advance international religious freedom during a private Oval Office event with the first lady, Vice President Mike Pence and others, according to senior adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Conway defended Trump amid continued criticism of the St. John’s visit, telling Fox News Channel that he held up a Bible outside the church as a “symbol” to those who set it afire.

On Monday evening, Trump had appeared in the White House Rose Garden and threatened to deploy active duty military across the country to quell sometimes-violent unrest in the wake of the death of Floyd.

Trump made his declaration to the sound of tear gas clearing largely peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park. It created a split screen for the ages, with Trump’s critics saying the president was deepening divisions at a time when leadership was crucial to help unify a fractured country.

Criticism continued Tuesday.

Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory said he was “baffled” by Trump’s visit to the shrine and called it “reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree.”

Gregory said the late pope was an “ardent defender” of human rights.

“He certainly would not condone the use …read more

Source:: Time – Politics