Jan. 6 committee’s concerns about Insurrection Act should concern the rest of us
There may be no greater presidential power than the authority to send in troops.
We should always take note when Congress discovers that a long-standing law doesn’t address our current reality. But when those members of Congress happen to be sitting on the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and they are privy to a mountain of evidence related to the planning and execution of a purported plot to overturn a presidential election, they should have our undivided attention.
According to an April 19 report in The New York Times, that committee is considering whether the 1807 Insurrection Act needs revision. That act empowers the president to domestically deploy our armed forces, including the National Guard and active-duty military, to stop a rebellion or uprising against the government. If the committee sees a need to change a law that provides absolute power to a president, it’s likely that they’re seeing evidence that a president – in this case former President Donald Trump — came close to abusing that power.