Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis. This has happened here in the US during the southern reconstruction following the U.S. Civil War.
The martial law concept in the United States is closely tied with the right of habeas corpus, which is in essence the right to a hearing on lawful imprisonment, or more broadly, the supervision of law enforcement by the judiciary. The ability to suspend habeas corpus is often equated with martial law. Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution states, "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
In United States law, martial law is limited by several court decisions that were handed down between the American Civil War and World War II. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military involvement in domestic law enforcement without congressional approval.
At least two American lawmakers have stated on the record that, in their opinion, Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 legalizes or authorizes martial law in the United States. Senator Mark Udall stated "These provisions raise serious questions as to who we are as a society and what our Constitution seeks to protect...Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil."
Throughout United States history are several examples of the imposition of martial law, aside from that during the Civil War.
There have been many instances of the use of the military within the borders of the United States, such as during the Whiskey Rebellion and in the South during the civil rights crises, but these acts are not tantamount to a declaration of martial law. The distinction must be made as clear as that between martial law and military justice: deployment of troops does not necessarily mean that the civil courts cannot function, and that is one of the keys, as the Supreme Court noted, to martial law.
The American Revolution
New Orleans, Louisiana in the War of 1812
Ex parte Milligan
The Great Chicago Fire 1871
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 1892
San Francisco earthquake of 1906
Colorado Coalfield War 1914
West Virginia Coal Wars 1920
San Francisco, California, 1934
The Territory of Hawaii 1939-1945
Freedom Riders 1961
Hurricane Katrina 2005
If Obama declared martial law across the country, he would need support from Congress to do so. Now, if he had support from the generals/admirals of the military (he would have to fire the rest that don't support him which is the majority) he could, in essence, become a dictator then and take the country by force and push whatever agenda he wanted.
· 7 years ago