Washington, D.C. — Congress should amend the Insurrection Act to put more constraints on the president’s use of the military at home, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.
President Donald Trump’s recent threat to invoke the act in response to mass protests against police brutality and systemic racism underscores the need for Congress to provide more checks and balances so the law can’t be used for undemocratic purposes.
“It is time for Congress to take action before it’s too late,” said Kelly Magsamen, vice president for National Security and International Policy at CAP. “The events of recent weeks have underscored the importance of placing checks on broad presidential authorities with respect to the U.S. military, whether at home or abroad.”
The column urges Congress to consider four options to amend the law:
- Require congressional notification and affirmative authorization within a reasonable but short time frame.
- Impose executive branch checks, including certification by the attorney general and/or the secretary of defense that conditions necessitate the act’s use.
- Add a judicial branch check and expedited review.
- Explicitly prohibit invocation against peaceful assembly.
Read the column: “4 Ways Congress Can Amend the Insurrection Act” by Kelly Magsamen
For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs, or 202-478-6327.