Buttle's World

12 February, 2009

Round Up the Posse

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 10:02

Making the case that Posse Comitatus doesn’t mean what you think it does.

Posse comitatus means power of the county and is described as the male population above the age of fifteen that a sheriff could summon to keep the peace. It’s known in popular culture as a the “posse” that a local sheriff employed to capture wrongdoers. The framers of the Constitution debated the posse comitatus, and did not rule out its use. The greater concern was securing life, liberty, and property. At the conclusion of the American Civil War, the military was sent to the South to ensure that elections were orderly; that the newly emancipated Blacks were not mistreated, as they had been in the past. This deployment added insult to injury for the people of the South; not only had they been defeated, but there was an occupying army. In 1878, Rep. Knott of Kentucky proposed an amendment that came to be known as the Posse Comitatus Act.

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