Posse comitatus

Posse comitatus -...

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The Use of the US Army and Air Force as posse comitatus Posse Comitatus:  the force of the country.  This is the body of men over  age 15 that the sheriff may summon to help enforce the law. 1854:   US Attorney General Caleb Cushing issues an opinion that posse  comitatus permits the local sheriff and US Marshalls to use the US  army and navy personnel without the consent of the US president. Purpose: To aid in the capture and return of slaves and the  enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 against abolitionists. 1866 Civil Rights Act: This law adopted the principle of posse comitatus to permit US  Marshalls to control the South after the Civil War.   1868: US Attorney General William Everts cited posse comitatus to allow  US Marshalls use the US military to protect newly freed slaves during  Reconstruction. 1878: After the end of Reconstruction, the southerners regained political  control of the southern states and returned to political power in  Washington, DC.  
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Unwilling to accept the former slaves as equal citizens, they pressed  for an end to the use of the US military as a police force in the South.  And so the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 was passed. 20 Stat. L., 145 June 18, 1878 CHAP. 263 - An act making appropriations for the support of the Army for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, and for other purposes. SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment. Codification of the Act: 18 U.S.C. 1385 Sec. 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. 10 U.S.C. (United States Code) 375
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This note was uploaded on 08/08/2010 for the course HLS 225 taught by Professor Burkechristensen during the Fall '08 term at E. Kentucky.

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Posse comitatus -...

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