Just quickly, here are a few interesting highlights on expanding DOD activities within the continental United States (CONUS) from the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (HR5122). The full text is available here at THOMAS and here on GovTrack. I have highlighted some parts I found particularly interesting, but I’d be interested in reading what Opinio Juris and other legal websites have to say about this.
- SEC. 1076. USE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES.
(a) USE OF THE ARMED FORCES AUTHORIZED.–
(1) IN GENERAL.–Section 333 of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
“ 333. Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law“
(a) USE OF ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES.–
(1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to–
“(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that–
“(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and
“(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or
“(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).
“(2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that– “
(A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that State or possession, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
“(B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.
“(3) In any situation covered by paragraph (1)(B), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.
“(b) NOTICE TO CONGRESS.–The President shall notify Congress of the determination to exercise the authority in subsection (a)(1)(A)
as soon as practicable after the determination and every 14 days thereafter during the duration of the exercise of that authority.”.
(2) PROCLAMATION TO DISPERSE.–Section 334 of such title is amended by inserting “or those obstructing the enforcement of the laws” after “insurgents”.
(3) HEADING AMENDMENT.–The heading of chapter 15 of such title is amended to read as follows:
“CHAPTER 15–ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS TO RESTORE PUBLIC ORDER”.
[this section continues with less intersting and clerical orders]
- SEC. 1044. REPORTS ON EXPANDED USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES IN THE NATIONAL AIRSPACE SYSTEM.
(a) FINDINGS.–Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) serve Department of Defense intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and com-
(2) Operational reliability of unmanned aerial systems continues to improve, and development and fielding of so-called sense-and-avoid technology should continue in order to provide unmanned aerial systems with an appropriate level of safety.
(3) Unmanned aerial vehicles have the potential to support the Nation’s homeland defense mission, border security mission, and natural disaster recovery efforts.
(1) DOD REPORT.–Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the relevant congressional committees a report on the actions of the Department of Defense to develop standards for the testing and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles in the National Airspace System.
(2) FAA REPORT.–Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall submit to the relevant congressional committees a report on progress in developing a policy for testing and a plan for achieving wider access by unmanned aerial vehicles that are appropriately equipped to operate in the National Airspace System