A recent article asked, “Is martial law justified if ISIS attacks?”
Ben Carson has repeatedly stated that he believes there is a chance that the 2016 elections may not be held at all. Widespread anarchy gripping the country could be reason enough for the Obama administration to announce the implementation of martial law and the suspension of some, if not all, of Americans’ constitutionally protected rights — including the right to vote and hold national elections.
Obama himself has stated he believes that he can legally institute martial law throughout America.
He’s wrong. Not only is federally-implemented martial law not justified in that situation, it’s not justified in any situation. In fact, it’s patently illegal.
For all our sakes, if not for the sake of our entire country, let’s examine why federally-implemented martial law is illegal in these United States of America:
1. The U.S. Constitution is “the supreme Law of the Land.” – Article IV of the U.S. Constitution.
There is no higher law or authority save that of God himself, even those Obama would like to think so. No legislation, actions, or executive orders which violate our Constitution will stand up in court, much less the court of public opinion. Furthermore, all sworn military, civil, and law enforcement officers throughout America are under oath to refuse any law or edict which violates the Constitution. In fact, every U.S. Citizen shares this responsibility, if not duty, to oppose even the mere mention of federally-imposed martial law.
This is perhaps one of the most powerful checks against tyranny We the People have out our disposal. If our government is not authorized to do something, We the People absolutely must be willing to stand up against them, en masse.
2. Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution gives Congress (not the President) the power “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” It also gives Congress (again, not the President), the power “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
This brings up the question as to what is meant by the term “militia?”
In the 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (see Note 1), Congress made note of the opinion of our Founding Fathers, the ones who wrote our Constitution and the Second Amendment, both of which contain the term “militia.” Specifically, Congress said:
“…the Framers used the term “militia” to relate to every citizen capable of bearing arms, and that Congress has established the present National Guard under its power to raise armies, expressly stating that it was not doing so under its power to organize and arm the militia.”
They also stated, “The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the constitutional militia, a distinction
recognized by 10 U.S.C. Sec 311(a)” (p. 17)
So, when it comes to the need to “suppress insurrections and repel invasions,” that responsibility is given to the militia, which is “every citizen capable of bearing arms.” This is precisely why our Second Amendment specifically states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
We the People are that well regulated Militia, and we provide that security on the authority given us by our Constitution, backed up by our Constitution’s prohibition against infringing on our right to keep and bear arms.
Checking with our Constitution, we find another quote relating to protecting our union against invasion or domestic violence like the Ferguson, Baltimore, or L.A. riots: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.” – Article IV, Section 4, U.S. Constitution.
While this does authorize federal intervention to deal with invasion and domestic violence (riots), it does not authorize the use of martial law, and Obama cannot arbitrarily decide otherwise or act in any manner whatsoever that infringes upon our rights. Our Constitutional rights trump whatever cockamamie justifications he may invent, and the Constitution wins each and every time.
There may come a time, however, when We the People, including every civil, military, and law enforcement officer in the land may have to stand firm against Obama’s or the federal government’s attempt to implement martial law. It is my sincere hope that everyone who took an oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic” will stand firm and refuse to follow orders that are patently un-Constitutional, regardless of the reason.
3. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Clearly, if martial law isn’t a power delegated to the United States by the Constitution, and not prohibited by it to the States, it’s a power reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
In fact, in 1943, following several years of unrest in Detroit, Michigan, that culminated into widespread riots, then Governor Kelly implemented martial law in Detroit as a means of last resort. As the governor of a state, he had the authority to implement martial law. Being at the federal level, however, Obama does not have that authority, because it was “not delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” It’s a power “reserved to the States.”
4. In summary, while the States do have Constitutional authority to implement martial law, neither Obama nor anyone else in the federal government has any such authority
5. Finally, we need to remember the U.S. Supreme Court has made some key decisions surrounding this issue, decisions that We the People should keep firmly in mind, let any wayward individual in a position of authority get the wrong idea:
“An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no right; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” Norton vs Shelby County118 US 425 p.442.
“The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”16th American Jurisprudence 2d, Section 177, late 2nd, Section 256
It’s that simple, folks. If you swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, here’s your chance. Do what this fella is doing:
Note 1: “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms” — Report of the Subcommittee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Seventh Congress, Second Session, February, 1982.
Listing: U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, 88-618 O WASHINGTON : 1982