Kelley Beaucar Vlahos reports on Washington’s plans to expand the military’s role in domestic law enforcement and emergency services:

Pentagon officials say that having a permanent, ready-reaction force capable of responding to a catastrophic event—natural or manmade—is a sensible and necessary outgrowth of post-9/11 national security. But the move has constitutional experts, civil libertarians, and retired and active military scratching their heads. Politicians are now demanding answers, wondering how close the military is to violating the Posse Comitatus Act, the 1878 federal law passed after Reconstruction to prevent federal troops from conducting domestic law enforcement.

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