On Guard

The U.S. House has voted to allow the president to call up the National Guard in times of emergency without so much as a ...
by | August 17, 2006
 

The U.S. House has voted to allow the president to call up the National Guard in times of emergency without so much as a how-do-you-do to the governor. Myriad governors were complaining about this at the National Governors Association meeting 10 days ago.

Now all the governors have signed a letter complaining about the idea, appealing to the greater wisdom of the Senate to head this idea off.

As this Salt Lake Tribune story notes, the president can federalize the Guard already, although the White House has rarely acted without a state's consent.

Governors have been grumpy for the past two or three years about the fact that large numbers of Guardsmen are serving in Iraq and other federal missions, rather than coping with natural disasters at home.

As I noted in Governing some time back, Congress made it clear 20 years ago, after some governors objected to sending Guardsmen to Central America, that the first priority of the National Guard is serving the federal government. Several governors sued, but the Supreme Court said no dice.

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