The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878


The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

20 Stat. L., 145

June 18, 1878

CHAP. 263 – An act making appropriations for the support of the Army for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, and for other purposes.

SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

10 U.S.C. (United States Code) 375

Sec. 375. Restriction on direct participation by military personnel:

The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that any activity (including the provision of any equipment or facility or the assignment or detail of any personnel) under this chapter does not include or permit direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.

18 U.S.C. 1385

Sec. 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Advertisements

About partisanrangershow

Freedom fighter
This entry was posted in Historical American Documents. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

  1. andhowweburned says:

    “..except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress [or whim of Super Congress].”

    There, fixed..

    Laws these days are much like the Pirates Code…..mere guidelines rather than pesky, inflexible rules.

  2. This act was something of a double-edged sword. It was an attempt by Southerners in Congress to prevent another such action as Reconstruction–12 years of military governance and rule. I think they left the “as expressly authorized by Congress” part in there in a thought that under certain circumstances the military might be needed to exercise authority AND (and this is the most important part) the Southern faction would be there to stop unnecessary abuse of this. My humble opinion.

  3. Pingback: Military to Collaborate with Wyoming Cops in Drunk Driving Crackdown | The Partisan Ranger Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s