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Horowitz: Time’s up: Trump doesn’t need permission of cities participating in insurrection to send in military


He holds the power of the federal government.

Noah Riffe/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

How is it that we are two weeks into an armed insurrection in Seattle, where local politicians let terrorists take over a police precinct and several city blocks and prevent all city services from entering? How is it that Americans continue to get beaten out of their cars by lynch mobs, and it appears there are no police in sight? Every Republican tells us that re-election of Trump is the most important outcome we can strive for, but he is president right now. He holds the power of the federal government. Are we really at the mercy of local governments ignoring or downright participating in the insurrection?

This question was settled long ago. State governments never had the power to violate life, liberty, or property, pursuant to Art. IV, §2, cl. 1 of the Constitution, which prohibited states from violating core natural rights from the very first day of the republic. In 1867, however, the 14th Amendment's Privileges and Immunities Clause gave the federal government enforcement power over states that violate those natural rights, which were specified at the federal level in the Bill of Rights after states had already adopted the original Constitution.

In response to the Civil War, Congress passed a law in 1871 to authorize the president to put down any insurrection. It was the original enforcement legislation designed to put teeth into the 14th Amendment, as envisioned under Sec. 5 of that amendment, which authorizes Congress to enforce violations by states. It's law to this day under 10 U.S. Code §253 and was amended in 2008 to apply to natural disasters and terrorism.

The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it—

(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or

(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

There are no limitations on the time, methods, or place in which the president can deploy the military to put down insurrection and domestic violence. With the anarchists desiring to relive the Civil War, it's time to use a Civil War-era law to put down this rebellion, as the law was designed to do.

What we are facing today in many cities is the worst unlawful combination of insurrection and violence that is hindering numerous state and federal laws, blocking highways and threatening motorists, and destroying businesses and property. Everyone seems to think that the president needs the permission of the state to deal with this, but the law was clearly designed for when "authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection."

The language of "privileges and immunities" was taken from the then-recently passed 14th Amendment to ensure that states couldn't get away with ignoring people's inalienable rights. Trump and Senate Republicans need to up the ante and threaten to invoke this statute if states and cities continue to allow "autonomous zones" and rioters to maim, loot, burn, steal, and obstruct traffic.

Obviously, we were all reluctant to immediately deploy the military and were hoping that local police would finally come to their senses, as they always have in the past after a few days of rioting. However, three weeks into this insurrection, many of these city governments have downright joined in the insurrection, which has led to direct threats to the lives and property of all Americans indefinitely. Truckers now have to rethink where they deliver goods, as if this were Afghanistan, where you need a map to see where the government has full or partial control over the territory.

Here is the latest motorist lynching in Santa Monica, California, captured in a video posted by my BlazeTV colleague, Elijah Schaffer:

With California officials downright encouraging this behavior and preventing the police from stopping it, the president is obligated to step in. The philosophy behind the 14th Amendment and the 1871 law to implement it is that the federal government was created for situations where states are either inherently incapable of defending liberty (a foreign invasion) or when they refuse to protect liberty and downright promulgate tyrannical edicts against life and property. Slavery and Jim Crow had to be swatted down by the federal government. Now these riots and beatings need the same response.

The police have been made to be criminals while the criminals are being exalted as civil rights leaders. This cannot go on longer. We cannot wait until November. Trump is already president and already has all the authority he needs. It's time to use it.

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