Politics

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The US Defense Secretary said Wednesday that he does not support President Trump’s remarks about invoking the Insurrection Act, an act that would allow active-duty military personnel to aid law enforcement in American cities amid unrest

PHOTO CREDITS: CARLOS/REUTERS

According to the US Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said Wednesday that he does not support President Trump’s remarks about invoking the Insurrection Act, an act that would allow active-duty members of the United States’ armed services to aid law enforcement in American cities that are experiencing increasing unrest over the death of George Floyd last week. Speaking at a news conference hosted by the Pentagon Wednesday morning, Esper said that he believes the National Guard is the best-suited group to assist local law enforcement, which he says they have already been doing in over half of the states around the country to help quell violence. “The option to use active-duty military should only be as a last resort. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Esper said. These comments by the Defense Secretary come in direct contradiction to President Trump’s comments Monday evening from the White House Rose Garden, in which he said “If a city or a 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The Insurrection Act was originally enacted by Thomas Jefferson in the year 1807 and allowed the President of the United States to send military personnel to a state if that state’s legislature or governor requested it. However, a provision of the law was legislated in 1956 to allow the President to unilaterally deploy American military personnel and federalize state national guard units in very certain cases, such as in the case of suppressing a rebellion (CBS News). Since its enactment in 1807, the law has been used 18 different times by 10 different presidents, last being used by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 to support local law officials in Los Angeles, California to contain the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. ~

Some Republicans, such as Senator Tom Cotton, showed support for President Trump invoking the Insurrection Act, saying Monday night that  “We always respect the rights of peaceful protesters, but we [should] have zero tolerance for anarchy, rioting and looting.” ~

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