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Martial law – Everything about it

What exactly is a Martial law?

President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the military across the country. In order to quell the riots and unrest in the wake of the George Floyd killing.

Fear is raising over the possibility of this law in the US if the situation continues.

Martial law

Trump stated that he wants to establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violance has been quelled.

There’s a chance that Insurrection Act of 1807 will invoke.

Namely, it is a federal law that governs the ability of the President of the United States to deploy military troops. However, only within the US to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.

It can be declared in a situation where there is near-violent civil unrest or major natural disasters.

Main features involve curfews, the suspension of civil law, livil rights and habeas corpus, the application of military law or military justice to civilians.

Additionally, it involves civilians defying this law being subjected to military tribunes.

Although the legal effects are different depending on where it is, it usually involves the suspension of civil rights.

A state of martial law is usually temporary, but in theory could continue indefinitely.

Civil courts do not review the decisions of tribunals which are set up by military authorities.

Moreover,  there is little knowledge on what remedies there are against potential situations. Which are involving the military abusing their position of power.

History of the law

As history teaches us, there are some occasions where Martial Law made huge changes.

They have included placing New Orleans under this law during The War of 1812 an imposing it in parts of Illinois during the Illinois Mormon War in 1843.

Chicago also was under it following the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

Other incidents have included after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and in West Virginia during the Coal Wars of 1920-21.

Minneapolis was also under martial law in 1934 due to escalating violence during the city’s general strike.

Furthermore, the Territory of Hawaii was under it from 1941 to 1944 following the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Recently , martial law was declared in Alabama in 1961 as a result of the ‘freedom riders’, peaceful activists who were challenging racial segregation in the south.

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