Media Mention

New York Times: “Ex-Officials Urge Curbing Presidential Power to Deploy Troops on U.S. Soil”

April 8, 2024

In a new exclusive story, the New York Times‘ Charlie Savage writes about the new “Principles for Insurrection Act Reform” jointly issued by the Presidential Reform Project and American Law Institute.

Spearheaded by PRP co-chairs Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith, the Principles were authored by a distinguished group of widely recognized experts in constitutional law, national security law, and military law, as well as former high-level government officials.

The Times writes:

A bipartisan group of former senior national security and legal officials, including veterans of the Trump administration, are urging lawmakers to impose new limits on a president’s power to deploy federal troops on domestic soil …

[T]he proponents of imposing new limits on the Insurrection Act said their point was not about Mr. Trump in particular, but rather that current law gives all presidents too much unfettered power …

The recommendations include tightening the circumstances in which a president may invoke the Insurrection Act by eliminating vague, antiquated terms and clarifying that for domestic violence to warrant calling in federal troops, it must rise to a level that overwhelms local law enforcement.

The group also said there should be a statutory limit on how long such a deployment could last, after which a president would have to remove troops unless Congress had voted to renew authority to continue the operation. It suggested a maximum of 30 days …

The principles were developed by a working group hosted by the American Law Institute, a nonpartisan group that proposes improvements to the law, guided by Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and former top Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration, and Bob Bauer, a New York University law professor and former White House counsel in the Obama administration.

Read the full guidance for Insurrection Act reform here.

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