Resurrecting the (Original) Insurrection Act

The Congressional newspaper The Hill reports that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) co-chairmen of the National Guard Caucus, just introduced a bill to counter a provision in the 2007 defense authorization bill that permits the President to call up Guardsmen to deal with national emergencies—effectively easing the President’s ability to control the National Guard. The provision originated in the House—immediately prompting a negative response from governors—and gained strong support from key Senators—Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), then ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and John Warner (R-Va.), then committee chairman. Leahy maintains that the “change in longstanding law treads heavily across basic constitutional issues.” Bond declared the change “imprudent.”