The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

Can Trump Declare Martial Law

Carole Stephens
• Monday, 26 October, 2020
• 9 min read

In more recent history, for instance, President Johnson deployed federal troops to Detroit in 1967 during a riot and once more to Chicago amid violence during the Democratic convention in 1968. However, President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock against the wishes of Arkansas to enforce high school integration in 1957.

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Accordingly, even if President Trump were to try to invoke martial law or emergency powers, claiming that they are inherent with his authority as commander in chief of the armed forces, the courts would have the last word, because citizens detained without due process would be able to secure judicial review by means of the “great writ” of habeas corpus. Moreover, President Roosevelt ordered the confinement of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent after Pearl Harbor and martial law was declared in the territory of Hawaii.

In a case growing out of the Civil War, the Supreme Court justices used soaring language, pointing out that the framers “foresaw that troubles times would arise, when rulers and people would become restive under restraint, and seek by sharp and decisive measures to accomplish ends deemed just and proper, and that the principles of constitutional liberty would be in peril, unless established by irreparable law.” The country “has no right to expect that it will always have wise and humane rulers, sincerely attached to the principles of the Constitution.

If a president, as distinguished from a governor, decided to declaremartiallaw across the nation, or even in selected states or regions, would he need the approval of Congress? Were the president to claim that both the violent disruptions and the threat of a renewed spread of the coronavirus justified the use of the military or the suspension of certain basic rights, he would be embarking on uncharted waters, and so would the courts.

Let us hope that the nation never gets to a point where martial law or other emergency measures that curtail fundamental rights are deemed necessary. Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, served on the legal team representing President Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Throughout 2020, America has faced a global pandemic, civil unrest after the death of George Floyd and a contentious election. As a result, an influx of fear about the possibility of the invocation of martial law or unchecked military intervention is circulating around the internet among scholars and civilians alike.


State officials may also declaremartiallaw, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, however, “their actions under the declaration must abide by the U.S. Constitution and are subject to review in federal court.” “Notorious examples include Franklin D. Roosevelt’s internment of U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese descent during World War II and George W. Bush’s programs of warrantless wiretapping and torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” the Atlantic reported.

“Abraham Lincoln conceded that his unilateral suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War was constitutionally questionable, but defended it as necessary to preserve the Union.” Throughout the course of U.S. history, federal and state officials have declared martial law at least 68 times, according to Joseph Nun, an expert with the Brennan Center for Justice.

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“The sort of hellish scenarios that some people talk about is one where the president orders or regular military armed forces the United States to take over cities that he believes are engaged in an unlawful election, disruption or protests in the wake of an unresolved presidential election in the days after November 3,” Banks noted. If the situation does not resolve itself, the President may issue an executive order to send in troops,” according to a 2006 Congressional Research Service report.

“A really important limitation in the event that there is martial law is that it’s highly unlikely to be tolerated in a situation where our civilian institutions are working,” Banks noted. If President Donald Trump can stir up civil unrest with false claims of vote rigging, he just might get the reason he needs to invoke martial law.

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Trump, of course, would say he had to take such drastic action to save lives amid an uprising of leftist socialists. But his motivation clearly would be to overturn a lawful election that he lost by more than 7 million votes and attempt to send in troops to do his dirty work.

Since the early 19th century, presidents and Congress have had the right to employ martial law in the wake of national disasters, violent insurrections, etc. My guess is that 14 years ago, lawmakers must have feared that one day a lunatic wannabe autocrat would wind up in the White House and would not want to leave after losing a reelection bid in a lawful balloting procedure.

The first time martial law was used in the United States was when Gen. Andrew Jackson restricted movement in New Orleans prior to the 1814 Battle of New Orleans, when a ragtag U.S. militia defeated a large, well-disciplined contingent of British Regulars and secured U.S. victory in the War of 1812. Over the next 125 years, martial law was primarily invoked to quell violent labor disputes (the 1934 San Francisco waterfront strike, for one) and major disasters (the 1871 Great Chicago Fire and 1906 San Francisco earthquake are two examples).

Note: Neither the writer of this story nor The USA Herald takes a position on the use of martial law. Most notable among them was former national security advisor Michael Flynn who retweeted a full-page ad that ran in The Washington Times that said it was necessary to avoid a real Civil War.

To put it simply, martial law is the suspension of the constitution and a take over by the military of policing, courts, and many aspects of daily life are run by the armed forces. It notably happened in Hawaii in 1942 after the attack on Pearl Harbor where even trash pickup was handled by the military.


You may have noticed in the news recently that protests for and against President Trump have turned into fights bordering on riots. A 2006 Congressional Research Service report the president “must first issue a proclamation ordering the insurgents to disperse within a limited time, 10 U.S.C.

Banks believes that martial law would not be tolerated by top military officials in peacetime when civil institutions are working, but looking at the fact that President Trump has appointed Corey Lewandowski and David Bessie to top positions in the Pentagon begs the question of why? A few days ago I ran a poll asking if you think President Trump should declare the Insurrection Act and implement Martially to save the election and the country.

There is a ton of confusion out there about those topics and since I can ’t reply to every email when there are literally hundreds, I wrote this article. It’s so good you’re probably going to want to bookmark this article and show your family and friends.

| Diane Ravish's Blythe fact that anyone is discussing the possibility of martial law demonstrates how much Trump has degraded our democracy. When Hillary Clinton lost the election in the Electoral College in 2016, she graciously conceded; she didn’t demand endless recounts.

Although he lost more than 50 lawsuits in state and federal courts, his campaign is still litigating his loss, trying to throw out the vote in Pennsylvania. Since he apparently has no legal way to overturn the election, he is trying to dirty Biden’s clear victory over him, and at the same time, undermine the integrity of our electoral process, which is the basis of our democracy.

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Could President Trumpdeclaremartiallaw, or seize voting machines, or try to otherwise steal the election by force in his last month in office? Any of those would be an extreme escalation of Trump ’s already unprecedented strong-arm tactics in his effort to overturn the election results.

But even if Trump could do any of the things he might be entertaining, they wouldn’t actually change the election results: Here’s what he’s mulling, according to Washington Post reporting, and why experts say these efforts won’t get him what he wants. Former Trump national security adviser Michael T. Flynn has suggested the military could force states to rerun elections.

Experts were heartened that military leaders expressed regret for participating in a clearing of peaceful protesters outside the White House this summer so the president could pose for a photo he used for political purposes. And even if Congress were unable to certify results, on Jan. 20, the political and legal and military establishment would almost certainly recognize Biden as president.

Biden has said he’s confident law enforcement would escort Trump out of the White House on that day if he refused to leave. Trump has called plenty of accurate reporting “fake news” before, so it’s not the same as an outright denial.

What this would do: This is slightly different from martial law in that it’s an actual legal tool the president has that allows him to use the military in extreme ways. The Insurrection Act allows the president to call in troops for domestic law enforcement, not unlike what he did this summer in Portland, Ore., during Black Lives Matter protests.

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Trump could try to gin one up by encouraging protests across the nation on Jan. 6 as Congress certifies results, said Meredith McGhee, an expert in ethics in politics and the director of Issue One. That’s scary language, said McGhee, who wondered whether Trump might try to do this in several cities to create the pretense of insurrection and chaos.

“Talk about an idiotic idea,” Republican strategist Karl Rove recently said on Fox News. The Insurrection Act “says nothing about: ‘Therefore the president can stay in power after he’s been voted out in a legitimate election,’” Seinfeld said.

In Georgia, the Republican Secretary of State has presided over three recounts, including one by hand, that confirmed the machines counted votes correctly. An Arizona judge allowed Republicans to view 100 ballots to search for fraud or miscounting, and they found nothing.

Taking the voting machines would fall to the Department of Homeland Security, and its head, Chad Wolf, has told the White House he’s doesn’t have the authority, according to Post reporting. Trump has toyed with putting one of the most conspiracy-theory-minded lawyers in his orbit, Sidney Powell, into an official position to “investigate” whether there was fraud that led to his loss.

A special counsel can ’t be removed by the next president, but a Biden Justice Department could just silo her and give her zero resources. When Congress meets Jan. 6 to confirm Biden’s win, Trump has lined up several House Republican lawmakers to challenge as many as half a dozen states he lost.


2 Senate Republican, has said these challenges are “going down like a shot dog.” There’s no legal basis not to accept state’s electors that, taken together, make Biden president.

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