Former President Donald J. Trump has maintained to the American public for nearly half a year that internal government forces prevented him from employing the United States military to quell the devastation caused by the Black Lives Matter uprisings of Summer 2020. However, in March, he addressed the audience at an Iowa rally and declared, “The next time, I’m not waiting.”
According to the Associated Press, Trump made reference to both New York City and Chicago as “crime dens.”
“You look at these great cities Los Angeles, San Francisco you look at what’s happening to our country… We cannot let it happen any longer. And one of the other things I’ll do.. Because you know you’re supposed to not be involved in that you just have to be asked by the governor or the mayor to come in…
The next time, I’m not waiting. One of the things I did was let them run it, and we’re going to show how bad a job they do,” he added.
“Well, we did that. We don’t have to wait any longer. We’ve got to get crime out of our cities.”
Although Trump did not specify how he would interfere, the AP conjectured—after reviewing his comments six months later—that he may use US military force. In their essay, they stated that “Trump and his advisors have indicated they would have broad latitude to call up units, but he has not specified precisely how he might use the military during a second term.”
The publication further characterized the Republican front-runner’s strategy for 2024 as “aggressive,” highlighting his readiness to reinstate travel restrictions from nations afflicted by radical Islamist terrorism and his intention to initiate mass deportations of unauthorized immigrants.
The Associated Press mentioned the Insurrection Act of 1795 and cited Joseph Nunn, a national security expert at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Nunn said to them, “The principal constraint on the president’s use of the Insurrection Act is basically political, that presidents don’t want to be the guy who sent tanks rolling down Main Street.”
He added, “There’s not much really in the law to stay the president’s hand.”
Nunn has demanded legislation to prevent Trump from using the Insurrection Act, even though she is aware that military personnel are already obligated by law to defy any unconstitutional orders. “You could end up in jail for a very long time and lose your career if you disobey an order that turns out to be legal,” he continued. They have incredibly high stakes in this.
A different viewpoint is expressed by Michael O’Hanlon, director of research in foreign policy at the Brookings Institute, who told the AP, “It will be difficult for a president to just do something randomly out of the blue because there are a lot of institutional checks and balances in our country that are fairly well-developed legally.” However, he did add, “Trump is skilled at creating a semi-logical line of reasoning that could lead to an area with sufficient chaos, violence, and legal ambiguity.”
The last time an incumbent president invoked the Insurrection Act was in 1992, during the administration of George H.W. Bush. He had done so in order to dispatch the Federalized California National Guard to Los Angeles in an effort to suppress the violent unrest that ensued following the acquittal of multiple LAPD officers in the assault of Rodney King.
According to the Associated Press, the statute has been implemented a total of forty times. In the majority of those instances, it was utilized to enforce desegregation and respond to extensive civil unrest, such as the race disturbances that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.