The idea that the U.S. military would oversee a new nationwide presidential election — ordered under martial law by President Donald Trump — is “insane in a year that we didn’t think could get anymore insane,” a defense official tells Military Times.
Yet retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn promoted that exact idea Tuesday evening when he tweeted a press release from an Ohio-based conservative political organization.
Calling former Vice President Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 victory over Trump “fraudulent,” the Ohio-based “We The People Convention” took out a full-page ad in the Washington Times on Tuesday urging Trump to “immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a re-vote.”
The organization called for the revote to include only registered voters with photo IDs, to be limited to only paper ballots, to be hand counted and with members of both Democrat and Republican parties observing.
– This is an excerpt from the Navy Times.
— Jo Ingles (@joingles) December 1, 2020
How the president could invoke martial law
Throughout 2020, America has faced a global pandemic, civil unrest after the death of George Floyd and a contentious election. As a result, an influx of fear about the possibility of the invocation of martial law or unchecked military intervention is circulating around the internet among scholars and civilians alike.
“The fear is certainly understandable, because as I’m sure you know, martial law isn’t described or confined or limited, proscribed in any way by the Constitution or laws,” Bill Banks, a Syracuse professor with an expertise in constitutional and national security law, told Military Times. “If someone has declared martial law, they’re essentially saying that they are the law.”
What is ‘martial law’
In short, martial law can be imposed when civil rule fails, temporarily being replaced with military authority in a time of crisis. Though rare, there have been a number of notable U.S. cases where martial law came into play, including in times of war, natural disaster and civic dispute — of which there has been no shortage in 2020.
This is an excerpt. Read more at Military Times for the background on martial law.
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