Domestic Military Deployment Reforms

The brutal crackdown on nonviolent demonstrators on June 1, 2020, at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., and the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, provide important lessons about the need to pass reforms to how and when the National Guard may (or may not) be deployed domestically, its command structure for domestic deployment, and the Guard’s legal authority when it acts. The reforms below would close dangerous loopholes in the laws that govern domestic deployment of the National Guard and help prevent politically driven misuses of Guard forces. They also would uphold the foundational principle of posse comitatus by preserving the separation between the military and civilian government that is so crucial to the protection of civil liberties. Protect Democracy strongly supports the reforms below:

  • The Sherrill Amendment would require all interstate deployments of the National Guard under 32 U.S.C. § 502(f)(2)(A) to be approved by the chief executives of both the sending and the receiving state. 
  • The D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act would transfer control over the D.C. Guard from the president to the mayor of Washington, D.C., the city’s chief elected executive.
  • The Escobar Amendment would prohibit privately funded interstate deployments of the National Guard, except in cases of natural disaster covered by the Stafford Act. 
  • The Schiff Amendment would prohibit the use during legal proceedings of evidence that was collected by or with the assistance of members of the armed forces in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Domestic Deployment Reforms: An Overview

The Sherrill Amendment
The D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act
The Escobar Amendment
The Schiff Amendment
Further Reading

Further Reading on the Reforms

Related Content

Current United States Authoritarian Threat Index score: 2.5/5 Significant Threat

The Score Breakdown

  • Civil Liberties 2.4/5 • Significant Threat
  • Executive Constraints 2.2/5 • Significant Threat