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COVID-19, Domestic military operations, Emergency law, Martial law


In response to the novel coronavirus crisis, we are witnessing one of the largest domestic military operations in American history. This article proceeds in three parts. Part I considers the emergency authorities invoked to address the coronavirus, including the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), National Emergencies Act (NEA), and Stafford Act. Part II deals with the laws, regulations, and policies governing the military’s role as a law enforcer— including restrictions on the military’s role to quell civilian disturbances. I also briefly discuss martial law, a rarely invoked but powerful authority held at the federal, state, and local levels. Part III deals with the scope of the military as emergency aid and relief provider. Unlike the military’s role in quelling domestic disturbances, there are far fewer restrictions when it provides relief following a natural disaster or health crisis.

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Journal of National Security Law & Policy


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