Center for Political Awareness

Legal Experts Worry About Presidential Abuse of the Insurrection Act. Here’s Why.

A bipartisan group of legal experts is sounding an alarm about presidential power this election season. (Click image for article.)

Photo: National Guard members take a staircase toward the U.S. Capitol building before a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration in Washington on Jan. 18, 2021. Experts in constitutional law and the military say the Insurrection Act gives presidents tremendous power with few restraints. Patrick Semansky/AP

A bipartisan group of legal experts is sounding an alarm about presidential power this election season.

They’re pushing Congress to update a cluster of laws known as the Insurrection Act and limit how the White House can deploy troops on American soil, in case a future president takes advantage of that sweeping power.

“It’s really up to the president to decide when to use the armed forces as a domestic police force,” said Elizabeth Goitein, senior director of the Liberty & National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “And that is tremendous cause for concern, because an army turned inward can very quickly become an instrument of tyranny.”

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