The President’s Legal Authority to Commit Troops Domestically Under the Insurrection Act

Harold Hongju Koh Sterling Professor of International Law and former Dean at Yale Law School
Michael Loughlin J.D. candidate at Yale Law School

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September 2020

On June 1, 2020, President Donald Trump suggested he would invoke the Insurrection Act to send active-duty troops into American cities to suppress nationwide protests against police violence. In a new ACS Issue Brief, Professor Harold Hongju Koh of Yale Law School, and Michael Loughlin, Yale Law School Class of 2021, explain that the Insurrection Act does not provide legal cover for President Trump’s claim that he can deploy U.S. troops to American cities over the objection of state and city leaders, without a court order, and unrelated to the purpose of protecting civil rights.


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