In late 2006, Congress revised the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act to make it far easier for a president to declare martial law. Those changes were repealed at the end of this January as part of Public Law 110-181 (HR 4986), the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (signed into law by President Bush on January 28, 2008).
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), who championed the opposition to the original law, was also the hero of the repeal. It helped that all the nationâ€™s governors opposed the 2006 law.
Boise State Professor Charlotte Twight, the author of the excellent Dependent on DC, alerted me to the change last night. I checked on Nexis and the only news coverage I found regarding the repeal was a 322-word Gannett News wire story from February 1 that focused on how the repeal made governors happy.
I first wrote about the Posse/Insurrection peril for American Conservative a year ago. My most recent piece on the subject was an article for the January issue of the Future of Freedom Foundationâ€™s (FFF) Freedom Daily. The law was changed between the time the piece was published and when FFF posted the January article online on April 9.