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Martial Law Not Recognized In Louisiana State Law

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by poncho, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. poncho

    poncho Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Army general stresses military law enforcement aiding civil power after Katrina
    Bernard Hibbitts at 8:00 PM ET

    [JURIST] The Chief of the US Army National Guard Bureau [official website] said Thursday in Washington that the National Guard was deploying over 4000 military police to support civilian law enforcement officers around New Orleans and elsewhere in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "This is not martial law," said Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum [official profile], referring to some erroneous media reports. "This is helping a police force that is overstretched with the extraordinary challenge that it’s facing." Despite its use by local officials, most recently the mayor of New Orleans [JURIST report] on Wednesday, "martial law" - technically, emergency government by military authorities - is not recognized in Louisiana state law [JURIST report], according to a clarifying statement issued Tuesday by the Louisiana Attorney General's office. Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul McHale similarly insisted that all law enforcement would be on the Natinal Guard side operating under control of state governors; some 7000 active duty federal troops would also be involved in rescue and recovery operations, but federal law in the form of the Posse Comitatus Act [Wikipedia backgrounder] prohibits them from conducting domestic law enforcement. The American Forces Press Service has more; the New Orleans Times-Picayune provides additional coverage.


    Tuesday, August 30, 2005

    UPDATE ~ Louisiana "martial law" declarations clarified
    Bernard Hibbitts at 10:16 PM ET

    [JURIST] The Louisiana Attorney General's office late Tuesday issued a number of clarifications concerning the "martial law" assertions made earlier in the day by local officials and law enforcement agents [JURIST report] in the wake of devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. According to the AG's office, no such term exists in Louisiana state law. The declaration of a state of emergency [text] issued by Gov. Kathleen Blanco on Friday and set to continue for at least a month does, however, give officials power to suspend civil liberties in the process of restoring order, and the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act of 1993 gives the governor and heads of parishes power to commandeer property. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has more.