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Martial Law and National Emergency

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Publication Date: January 2005

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS21024

Topic: Law and ethics (Military and martial law)

Abstract:

Crises in public order, both real and potential, often evoke comments concerning a resort to martial law. While some ambiguity exists regarding the conditions of a martial law setting, such a prospect, nonetheless, is disturbing to many Americans who cherish their liberties, expect civilian law enforcement to prevail, and support civilian control of military authority. An overview of the concept of, exercise of, and authority underlying martial law is provided in this report, which will be updated as events warrant.