Select Page

Don't Tread On My Site

Wyoming Bill Would Ban Unconstitutional National Guard Deployments

Load WordPress Sites in as fast as 37ms!

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Feb. 5, 2020) –  A bill prefiled in the Wyoming House would prohibit unconstitutional foreign combat deployments of the state’s national guard troops, effectively restoring the founders’ framework for state-federal balance on the Guard.

Rep. Tyler Lindholm, (R-Crook), along with a bipartisan coalition of 15 representatives and senators filed House Bill 98 (HB98) on Feb. 4. The legislation would only allow the release of Wyoming National Guard units into active combat duty if there was a congressional declaration of war. Under the proposed law, “active duty combat” means performing the following services in the active federal service of the United States:

  • Participation in an armed conflict;
  • Performance of a hazardous service in a foreign state; or
  • Performance of a duty through an instrumentality of war.

IN PRACTICE

Guard troops have played significant roles in all modern overseas conflicts, with over 650,000 deployed since 2001. Military.com reports that “Guard and Reserve units made up about 45 percent of the total force sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, and received about 18.4 percent of the casualties.” More specifically, Wyoming National Guard units have participated in missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and elsewhere.

Since none of these missions have been accompanied by a Constitutional declaration of war, the Defend the Guard Act would have prohibited those deployments. Such declarations have only happened five times in U.S. history, with the last being in World War II.

BACKGROUND

Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16 make up the “militia clauses” of the Constitution. Clause 16 authorizes Congress to “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia.” In the Dick Act of 1903, Congress organized the militia into today’s National Guard, limiting the part of the militia that could be called into federal service rather than the “entire body of people,” which makes up the totality of the “militia.” Thus, today’s National Guard is governed by the “militia clauses” of the Constitution, and this view is confirmed by the National Guard itself.

Clause 15 delegates to the Congress the power to provide for “calling forth the militia” in three situations only: 1) to execute the laws of the union, 2) to suppress insurrections, and 3) to repel invasions.

During state ratifying conventions, proponents of the Constitution, including James Madison and Edmund Randolph, repeatedly assured the people that this power to call forth the militia into federal service would be limited to those very specific situations, and not for general purposes, like helping victims of a disease outbreak or engaging in “kinetic military actions.”

RETURNING TO THE CONSTITUTION

It is this limited Constitutional structure that advocates of the Defend the Guard Act seek to restore. That is, use of the Guard for the three expressly-delegated purposes in the Constitution, and at other times to remain where the Guard belongs, at home, supporting and protecting their home state.

West Virginia Rep. Pat McGeehan served as an Air Force intelligence officer in Afghanistan and has sponsored similar legislation in his state.

“For decades, the power of war has long been abused by this supreme executive, and unfortunately our men and women in uniform have been sent off into harm’s way over and over,” he said. “If the U.S. Congress is unwilling to reclaim its constitutional obligation, then the states themselves must act to correct the erosion of constitutional law.”

While getting this bill passed isn’t going to be easy, it certainly is, as Daniel Webster once noted, one of the reasons state governments even exist. In an 1814 speech on the floor of Congress where Webster urged similar actions to the Hawaii Defend the Guard Act. He said,

“The operation of measures thus unconstitutional and illegal ought to be prevented by a resort to other measures which are both constitutional and legal. It will be the solemn duty of the State governments to protect their own authority over their own militia, and to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power. These are among the objects for which the State governments exist.”

WHAT’S NEXT

HB98 will be introduced when the Wyoming legislature convenes on Feb 10. Once it is referred to a committee, it will need to pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative session.


This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Tenth Amendment Center. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

-> Click Here to Read the Original Article <-

About The Author

Tenth Amendment Center

The Tenth Amendment Center works to preserve and protect Tenth Amendment freedoms through information and education. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of state and individual sovereignty issues, focusing primarily on the decentralization of federal government power. Visit https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.