175 Mil. L. Rev. 86 (2003)
The Posse Comitatus Act: Setting the Record Straight on 124 Years of Mischief and Misunderstanding before Any More Damage is Done

handle is hein.journals/milrv175 and id is 94 raw text is: MILITARY LAW REVIEW

THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT: SETTING THE RECORD
STRAIGHT ON 124 YEARS OF MISCHIEF AND MISUNDER-
STANDING BEFORE ANY MORE DAMAGE IS DONE
COMMANDER GARY FELICErr1 & LIEUTENANT JOHN LUCE2
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly
authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses
any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or
otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than two years, or both.3
I. Introduction
The United States is currently conducting a major reorganization of
its civil and military agencies to enhance homeland security.4 The new
1. Presently assigned as Executive Officer, Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown,
Virginia. J.D. 1995, University of California, Los Angeles, order of the coif; B.S., 1981,
U.S. Coast Guard Academy with honors. Previously assigned as a Deck Watch Officer on
the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, 1981-1983; Commanding Officer, LORAN Station
Port Clarence, Alaska, 1983-1984; Staff Officer, Twelfth Coast Guard District and Deck
Watch Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Blackhaw, 1984-1987; Flag aide, Maintenance &
Logistics Command Pacific, 1987-1988; Operations Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ven-
turous, 1988-1991; Chief, Cutter Readiness Section, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, 1991-
1992; Funded Legal Education Student, University of California, Los Angeles, 1992-1995;
Principal Assistant Legal Officer, Second Coast Guard District, St. Louis, Missouri, 1995-
1996; Staff Attorney, Contract Law Branch, Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlan-
tic, 1996-1997; Staff Attorney, Navy Legal Services Office Mid-Atlantic, 1997-1998;
Chief, Military Justice Branch, Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, 1998-1999;
Chief, Operational Law Branch, Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, 1999-
2002. The author wishes to thank Captain Rob Kutz, USCG, for his advice, support, and
encouragement; Jeneen Howard-Williams for her research assistance; and the many col-
leagues who commented on drafts of this article, provided research leads, and offered other
forms of support.
2. Presently Assigned as a staff attorney, Procurement Law Branch, Maintenance and
Logistics Command Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia. J.D. 2000, The George Washington Uni-
versity Law School, with highest honors, order of the coif; B.S. 1992, U.S. Coast Guard
Academy, with honors. Previously assigned as Deck Watch Officer on the U.S. Coast
Guard Cutter Hornbeam (WLB-394), 1992-1994; Staff Officer, Coast Guard Headquarters,
Short Range Aids to Navigation Division, 1994-1996; Staff Officer, Coast Guard Head-
quarters, Office Cutter Management, 1996-1997; Funded Legal Education Student, The
George Washington University Law School, 1997-2000; Staff Attorney, Operational Law
Branch, Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, 2000-2001.
3. Posse Comitatus Act, 18 U.S.C.  1835 (2000).

[Vol. 175

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