It is widely expected Obama will issue an unconstitutional executive order and send U.S. National Guard troops to Liberia “to help contain the Ebola outbreak there,” according to NBC News. But is this constitutional?

The federal use of national guard troops falls under the “militia clauses” of the Constitution: Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15-16:

The Congress shall have Power To

…provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions….

…provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

In short, there are three situations where the organized militia (renamed as the National Guard in the 1903 Dick Act) may be called into service for the federal government.

1. A military invasion of the United States

2. An insurrection

3. To execute the Laws of the Union (provided those laws are constitutional in the first place, of course)

Does the Ebola crisis in Africa fit under any of the three above?

If, like me, you realize that it doesn’t, I suggest that you consider the advice of Daniel Webster when it came to an unconstitutional use of the organized militia.

“The operation of measures thus unconstitutional and illegal ought to be prevented by a resort to other measures which are both constitutional and legal. It will be the solemn duty of the State governments to protect their own authority over their own militia, and to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power. These are among the objects for which the State governments exist”

Call your state legislators and urge them to introduce the Defend the Guard Act today.

Michael Boldin