House Approves Martial Law Rule?


Yesterday, the first item on the Daily Schedule of the House of Representatives for July 1, 2010, was a vote on the adoption of the Martial Law Rule for H.R. 5618 – Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act.

I tried to find information on the net, but could only find this on House Minority Leader John Boehner (R)’s website, The Republican Cloakroom:

H.R. 5618 – Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act (Rep. McDermott – Ways and Means)

Closed rule, One hour of debate (also includes martial law rule for certain resolutions reported from the Rules Committee)

Rule                    231                     N  189

I did a Google search for “‘martial law rule’ ‘HR 5618′” but all I got was Boehner’s Republican Cloakroom. I searched the Library of Congress’ Thomas website for “martial law rule HR 5618” and “martial law rule,” but was told that “No items were found for the search.”

When I searched Thomas for “HR 5618,” I found that HR 5618 not only failed to pass on June 29, 2010, a motion introduced the same day to suspend the rules and pass the bill also failed. Given that, why was HR 5618 again on the House agenda yesterday? Furthermore, on June 30, Thomas has HR 5618 as “Bill is closed to amendments.” So how can the House tack on a “martial law rule” to HR 5618 yesterday? (See HERE.)

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Martial Law:

Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis—usually only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively (e.g., maintain order and security, and provide essential services), when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law becomes widespread. In most cases, military forces are deployed to quiet the crowds, to secure government buildings and key or sensitive locations, and to maintain order. Generally, military personnel replace civil authorities and perform some or all of their functions. The constitution could be suspended, and in full-scale martial law, the highest ranking military General would take over, or be installed, as the military governor or as head of the government, thus removing all power from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government.

Martial law can be used by governments to enforce their rule over the public. Such incidents may occur after a coup d’état (Thailand 2006); when threatened by popular protest (China, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989); to suppress political opposition (Poland in 1981); to stabilize insurrections or perceived insurrections (Canada, The October Crisis of 1970). Martial law may be declared in cases of major natural disasters, however most countries use a different legal construct, such as a “state of emergency”.

…Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunal (court-martial).

[….] The martial law concept in the U.S. is closely tied with the right of habeas corpus, which is in essence the right to a hearing on lawful imprisonment, or more broadly, the supervision of law enforcement by the judiciary…. Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

In United States law, martial law is limited by several court decisions that were handed down between the American Civil War and World War II. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military involvement in domestic law enforcement without congressional approval. On October 1, 2002 United States Northern Command was established to provide command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

The National Guard is an exception, since unless federalized, they are under the control of state governors. This was changed briefly: Public Law 109-364, or the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007” (H.R.5122), was signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006, and allowed the President to declare a “public emergency” and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities. Title V, Subtitle B, Part II, Section 525(a) of the JWDAA of 2007 reads “The [military] Secretary [of the Army, Navy or Air Force] concerned may order a member of a reserve component under the Secretary’s jurisdiction to active duty…The training or duty ordered to be performed…may include…support of operations or missions undertaken by the member’s unit at the request of the President or Secretary of Defense.” The President signed the Defense Authorization Act of 2008 on January 13, 2008. However, Section 1068 in the enacted 2008 defense authorization bill (H.R. 4986: “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008”) repealed this section of PL 109-364.

Contrary to many media reports at the time, martial law was not declared in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, because no such term exists in Louisiana state law. However, a State of Emergency was declared, which does give unique powers to the state government similar to those of martial law. On the evening of August 31, 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin nominally declared “martial law” and said that officers didn’t have to observe civil rights and Miranda rights in stopping the looters. Federal troops were a common sight in New Orleans after Katrina. At one point, as many as 15,000 federal troops and National Guardsmen patrolled the city. Additionally it has been reported that armed contractors from Blackwater USA assisted in policing the city.

I apologize for the sketchiness of this report. But I was alarmed by what I saw in the House’s Daily Schedule and Boehner’s Republican Cloakroom and thought this should be publicized. 

Our Founding Fathers, again and again, emphasized the importance of an informed citizenry. John Adams wrote in 1765: Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know….” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787: “If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.”

If you have information on what the House did yesterday on the “martial law rule to HR 5618,” please let us know by posting a comment. Thank you.

A big h/t to beloved Fellow Tina!

UPDATE (7/2/10): The Library of Congress’ Thomas website today (July 2) says that yesterday, 7/1/2010, H.R. 5618 was “Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 270 – 153 (Roll no. 423).” No mention of the mysterious “martial law rule.”

Please note that the vote count (270 – 153) for passage of H.R. 5618 is different than the vote count (231Y – 189N) for the “martial law rule” which also took place yesterday, July 1 — as stated on Rep. Boehner’s website, The Republican Cloakroom. The martial law rule, therefore, is not the same as H.R. 5618. Despite that, there is no mention of the martial law rule vote on Thomas.

UPDATE #2 (7/3/10): It appears that the “martial law rule” invoked by the House on July 1 refers to a parliamentary procedure, instead of Martial Law (the imposition of a state of emergency).

The Martial Law Rule parliamentary procedure (until now unknown to me and probably to most Americans) is used by Congress to force a vote by dispensing with a longstanding House rule (Rule XIII(6a)) intended to give U.S. Representatives and the public enough time to understand significant legislation. That House rule requires that there be at least one day between a bill’s unveiling and the House floor vote, and can only be suspended if two-thirds of the House agrees. The curiously-named Martial Law Rule dispenses with Rule XIII(6a). Critics on both the left and the right have denounced the tactic, saying it empowers the majority party’s leadership to act in an authoritarian manner and endangers democratic self-government by forcing members to vote blindly on measures demanded by their leaders. [Source]

This martial law parliamentary rule is so obscure, not even Wikipedia has an entry on it. So I don’t know the rule’s origin or if it’s contained in the Jefferson’s Manual — the first American book on parliamentary procedure, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801, which was adopted by both the House and Senate as their respective procedures.

Why such a parliamentary procedure is called a “martial law” rule escapes me. The expression “martial law” should not be used and taken so lightly. I think they do that just for their own amusement — when The People get all freaked out and think they just passed Martial Law.



29 responses to “House Approves Martial Law Rule?

  1. Eowyn,
    for what it’s worth..

    I have talked with countless military personnel here in NC while working on military bases. Almost all have laughed when I ask them if they would ever take up arms against the American people. Almost all said they would march on Washington first.


    • That’s most reassuring, Mike. Thanks!
      Is that why the Sociopath wants a civilian armed force “just as powerful and well-funded as the military”? 😉


  2. Mike, that is why Obama is pushing harder than ever to get his own private army which will undoubtedly be formed heavily from gang members who are already better armed and hardened for killing than most police departments. It will undoubtedly also be composed of crack teams of unscrupulous mercs who’s only loyalty is to who can pay them the most. They will provide the field leadership and cohesion. Many of these groups have received extensive training alongside the IDF and the Mossad in occupation and insurgency suppression tactics. They are getting their practice runs right now in Iraq and Afghanistan against better armed and better coordinated foes than what could immediately be expected among any American civilian resistance to it’s increasingly oppressive and imperial government from the money center of New York and its puppet front in Washington.

    That is another reason for the never ending wars in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and maybe soon to be Iran or Pakistan. At times of potential unrest, all empires want to keep the best of its civilian soldiers as far from home as possible. Keep trained citizen soldiers away who have law abiding ties to communities, who would refuse to fire on their kin and countrymen or hesitate to round disarm them or round them up to be placed in internment camps. I don’t even trust the Oath Keepers, I have done a lot of research into it and if I were an aspiring dictator like his majesty Obama, I would love groups like that. There is nothing I would love more than to not only have records of who those potential dissenters were, but to have them readily identifiable by their uniform patches, so when the time came, they could easily be isolated and neutralized before they could stand against me and my tyrannical plans. I don’t trust a lot of the senior military brass either. They are much more career politicians than they are soldiers, and if there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that in the corrupt political atmosphere of modern imperial America, career politicians are never to be trusted. Much of the upper military brass would be not only willing but eager to be the upper leadership of tyrannical plans against American citizens.


  3. I love Martial law. We can finally round up the illegals, the gang-bangers, the dope heads. Then we can piss off the general American public to the point where they will finally get it, and their lives are impacted enough for them to protest. Maybe this is exactly what America needs. I can’t wait to make some citizen arrests. Screw habeus corpus, get ready to go out with a bang! (this is sarcasm folks, scary stuff we are reading about here.)


  4. One way or another they are going to get H.R. 5618 passed so they can later say, “we are only enforcing the law”. It’s getting scary out there.

    There’s a great book just out about a small town that stands up to federal tyranny and ends up starting the 2nd American Revolution after Martial Law is enforced. It’s a great read & I recommend it.


  5. And you people talk about “Loonie lefties?” What kind of punch have you been drinking? Totally nuts. If you bothered to actually think about some of the crap you post about our President, you might realize its not the mans actions that really bother you, its the color of his skin.


    • YAWN :-O

      James, don’t you lefties EVER get tired of the same old, same old accusations you use? Seriously, can’t you think of something newer, more imaginative, than the tiresome old trope of racism? Ummm, seems to me you’re the one who is obsessed with, as you so charmingly put it, “the color of his skin.” A case of psychological projection, perhaps?

      I just love Rev. James David Manning, whose skin is heck of a lot darker than the sociopath in the White House to whom you remain neurotically attached. Check out Manning’s latest video:



    • Ah James, I see you’re being the good little Obamabot and practicing Rules for Radicals…you working for that organizer Soros?

      We don’t play by those rules…we’d much rather beat you at debating the actions of this president than discussing his skin color.


  6. James, you lose again. A basic debate tactic, when you cannot argue a topic (this article), is to slide everyone away from the topic at hand and get everyone sidetracked on another issue (race).

    The author is providing updated information from the previous vote to the current vote. Nothing was said about race.

    The only person discussing race is you. The race card no longer is intimidating to anyone. Maybe, you should just stick to the context of the article.


  7. James1207,
    I do not usually respond to the illness of stupid but in your case I will make an exception. When I was younger I married an American Indian, as did one of my children. My daughter married a young black man and one of my granddaughters did the same. I have 13 Indian grand children, four blacks and two Mexican mixed, yet I find the time to berate the idiot in the White House. Why? because he has the IQ of an inveterate Chicago hoodlum…In other words, he has a pigeon brain and an amoeba intellect. So go away with your illiterate race card and stuff it up your brain canal. That’s if you’re capable of finding it….


  8. “And you people talk about “Loonie lefties?” What kind of punch have you been drinking? Totally nuts. If you bothered to actually think about some of the crap you post about our President, you might realize its not the mans actions that really bother you, its the color of his skin.”
    It sounds to me like everyone that voted for obama is going to defend him to the grave, even if it’s him that puts them there. Which is looking like a certainty.


  9. Okay Bruce–You are another idiot. Obama???
    Since you brought up race–What coloer and what race is he? Do you even Know?

    No one cares what color the idiot is–He’s still an idiot. Unemployment 10% as recorded. More than $50 trillion added to the unfunded debt–$150 billion a month running deficit since he took office. –A health care bill that will kill the economy and bankrupt the nation.–The list on this idiot goes on and on and on –theres no end to his ignorance and we all know we can[t fix his or your stupid.

    Get lost numbskull..


  10. To my knowledge the ‘state of emergency’ clause has been invoked several times since 1933, none of them have been formally rescinded.
    Under the SOE the president has extended powers, little wonder why no current president has given the ‘stand down order’ concerning the SOE status.
    On the other hand, perhaps the politicians are getting ready to get rid of the ‘pretender to the throne’ and need the military to do it.
    On the other, other hand a scared public under martial law is easier to control (no protests).
    Not knowing what is next is the scary part.


  11. Eo, It looked to me like he was slamming both sides…


    Did Lincoln declare martial law when he was pres???


    • ron,

      This is from the same wikipedia article that I quoted in this post on the House approving a martial law rule:

      On September 15, 1863, President Lincoln imposed Congressionally-authorized martial law.[citation needed] The authorizing act allowed the President to suspend habeas corpus throughout the entire United States (which he had already done under his own authority on April 27, 1861). Lincoln imposed the suspension on “prisoners of war, spies, or aiders and abettors of the enemy,” as well as on other classes of people, such as draft dodgers. The President’s proclamation was challenged in Ex parte Milligan, 71 US 2 [1866]). The Supreme Court ruled that Lincoln’s imposition of martial law (by way of suspension of habeas corpus) was unconstitutional in areas where the local courts were still in session.


  12. Eo, Should I apologize to Bruce???

    I’m sorry Bruce–I get worked up a little –Your post did look like you were defending Osloba — sorry about that..



  13. Excellent observations here on Obama and the idiots who want to holler “racism” whenever they can’t defend his obvious corruption. As far as I can tell, there is no way to know what color a bloggers skin is, so this is a ridiculous argument from the get go. Very few “white” people I know are at all “racist” in any way, shape or form. Most of the real “racists” like KKK are government psyop groups put in place to allow the government to further divide and conquer the people. Most of the KKK members are what the elite who control the government call “useful idiots”. Ditto for homosexual rights groups, feminist groups, enviro-groups, etc. etc. This rule also applies to Democrats vs. Republicans, which is simply an illusion given to the American people and another way to divide and conquer, keeping us all squabbling over politics when the truth is, both parties work for the Bilderbergers, CFR and Trilateral Commission, along with the International Bankers and big corporations. It is entirely an illusion that politicians work for the “little people”. The work for whichever beaurocrat lines their pockets the most. Bush, Jr. , Bush, Sr., Clinton, Reagan, Barry Soetoro, Jimmy Carter, et al. Oops, I just mentioned a whole bunch of “white” politicians and one half-white. I hope no one acccuses me of racism. (I might be a racist Mexican, Chinese, or an Indian…..who knows?)


  14. With roughly 100 million armed Americans(many seriously pissed off),I find it difficult to believe that many in the military would take orders to try gun confiscations,etc on the US populace.
    I was in the Marines and I can tell you that many in that organization do not like the bureaucrats in Washington.

    The only viable option for Obama is to recruit 10 million Blacks from the hood who would follow his orders to screw with us.
    That tactic would make the civil war look like a Woodstock lovefest.


  15. Dave,

    Do you think ten million blacks would be considered racist????

    I remember a race riot in Totendorf Germany when I was up there doing military things. I don’t think fighting each other would be a good thing. That race riot did not end up too good for either side. Kinda like the Civil War–not a good thing.


  16. There is a Congressional precedure called the “Martial Law Rule” explained here.


  17. When Congress declares Martial Law it is not the same as when the President does. It pertains to a bill that is under consideration. Under the martial law procedure, House rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of the legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation — so that Members can learn what they are being asked to vote on — are swept away. Under “martial law,” the Leadership can file legislation and move immediately to debate and vote on it. Hope this helps.


  18. First time poster here and so value and appreciate this post. Great work!

    I blog over at the and have been covering a unique story out of a small town called Monroe, TN.

    What a few in Monroe Co Tennessee have learned is this, the entire Circuit Court, martial law, the EO signed by Lincoln, was to be rescinded prior to his murder. There is a reason that original order HAS NEVER BEEN RESCINDED. We’ve learned through our whacked out journey, that Congress and every Prez since then used the suspension of constitutional law to their advantage to create and build an entire infrastructure of gov’t known as the ‘shadow’ government. This false entity has been found out by many, but we are pieceing the last 50+ years of law made that is anti constitutional e.g. Grand Jury.

    Real life people, Commander of the Navy, and many more are demonstrating to the People precisely the issue of Grand Jury and Martial Law and its affects to date.

    I personally invite you, as the author of a current three part series to visit the to learn more of these actions and how you can support them and take part as an American to take our Constitutional Law away from the Congressional shysters who ‘think’ they’ve succeeded in taking our powers away.


  19. They dont need the US military. They’ll use American tax dollars to pay Blackwater and the mossad who will gladly gun us down for them.


  20. Please see my Update 2 at the bottom of this post. Martial law rule is a parliamentary rule/procedure to force the House to a vote, which is decidedly authoritarian and contrary to the spirit of democracy. It also should NOT be called a “martial law” rule. Martial Law is serious business.


  21. Okay, before I forget, Thank you Eo, for citing that Lincoln thing. I took three years of Polly Psy but I forgot that part.

    Okay, now I have a question. Osloba declares Martial Law—to what purpose? I know enough about my American friends and patriots to understand that they, myself included, will put up with a lot, but Osloba won’t be able to intimidate any of them with military force. An action like Martial Law for the purpose of controlling Tea Party members or staunch conservatives, or fired up rednecks would only serve to get him hung. So I ask, for what purpose would he employ the use of force against the American people?


  22. Okay, so basically this is forcing members to vote on a bill or a series of bill without actually knowing what’s in them. I think this has been going on for some time now.

    Thank you Eo, for clearing that up. I thought the discussion was about the implementation of Martial Law, not the Martial Law Rule, which is just as damaging to the rights of the people.


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