Democrats Seek to ‘Rewrite’ Insurrection Act to Prevent Future Riot Crackdowns

House Democrats are seeking to amend the 1807 Insurrection Act.

This is a key law allowing the president to use the military on US territory, in an apparent move to prevent an executive crackdown on riots like the ones that gripped much of America in 2020.

Democrats’ Worries: ‘Future Rogue President’

The legislation provides the president with the authority to order the US military to tackle a rebellion on American soil. The idea to rewrite the law is coming out of the so-called January 6 committee.

The potential amending of the Insurrection Act to make it completely toothless appears to come as fears that then-President Trump could have invoked the law and deployed the US military to tackle huge BLM riots or a spike in illegal immigration.

Trump did threaten to invoke the Insurrection Act, but never followed through. The last time the law was used was during the Los Angeles race riots in 1992.

According to a report by The New York Times, the Democrats’ discussions about amending or killing off the Insurrection Act are still “preliminary.”

It notes the leftists in question are worried about a “doomsday-type scenario” in which a “future rogue president” could use the 1807 law in order to crush an insurrection.

At the same time, there are other Democrats who fear pulling the teeth of the Insurrection Act is going to leave the president unable to quickly direct the US military, in the event of a domestic threat against the nation.

A Precaution Against Trump

The development of the congressional Democrats comes to indicate their real worries that President Trump could be elected to the White House once again in 2024.

They also worry that next time, Trump might be more decisive in putting down riots.

Trump did threaten to use the Insurrection Act in June 2020, during protests in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC.

His adviser, Stephen Miller, was the one suggesting the law could be applied to the southern border because of the invasion of illegal immigrants. However, at the time, then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper was strongly opposed to the idea.

As per the law, the US president can send the US military and the National Guard to tackle a wide range of domestic threats on American soil.

The law was signed by President Thomas Jefferson, who worried that former Vice President Aaron Burr was organizing an armed coup.

However, the Insurrection Act was not used until 1861 when it was invoked by President Abraham Lincoln against the Confederacy.

The law was invoked once again in 1957 by President Dwight Eisenhower against resistance to the desegregation of the high school in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Insurrection Act was invoked on two more occasions: to tackle unrest caused by Hurricane Hugo back in 1989 and then again during the Los Angeles riots three years later.