7 years 51 weeks ago, 10:02 PM
The power presumably continues to exist in those U.S. states that have not repealed it by statute, however. Resort to the posse comitatus figures often in the plots of Western movies, where the body of men recruited is frequently referred to as a posse. Based on this usage, the word posse has come to be used colloquially to refer to various teams, cliques, or gangs. In a number of states, especially in the western United States, sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies have called their civilian auxiliary groups "posses." The Lattimer Massacre of 1897 illustrated the danger of such groups, and thus ended their use in situations of civil unrest.
Some states provide for the posse by statute.
In the United States, a Federal statute known as the Posse Comitatus Act forbids the use of the United States Army, and through it, its offspring, the United States Air Force as a posse comitatus or for law enforcement purposes. A directive from the Secretary of Defense prohibits the use of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps for law enforcement. No such limitation exists on the United States Coast Guard, which can be used for all law enforcement purposes (for example, Coast Guardsmen were used as temporary Air Marshals for many months after the 9/11 attacks).
This Act was almost thouroughly repealed by Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by President George W. Bush on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony. This act allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."
Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."
This was repealed in 2008 by HR 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (full text). See Posse Comitatus Act and Insurrection Act.
The practical disuse of the posse comitatus, and its continued twilight existence as a theoretical legal power, is, like the militia, a subject for the debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
When Posse Comitatus is order your Second Amendment and the Constitution no longer mean anything.
"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.