posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 08:24 PM
Originally posted by jackinthebox
reply to post by ALightinDarkness
the law imposed upon a defeated country or occupied territory by the military forces of the occupying power.
Yes you are giving the broad definition of martial law, and your martial law might very well be the martial law in other countries. However martial
law has a different meaning in the USA. Sometimes it's defined as merely the will of the commanding general or whatever is necessary to preserve
governmental authority, it's the temporary control by military authorities of the civilian population in a particular area. Its application is
generally to battle zones during war or areas of great or potentially great public disturbance in peacetime.
Americans rejected martial law in the Declaration of Independence, indicting George III for having put colonial Massachusetts under control of the
British army. The U.S. Constitution limited the federal government's application of martial law by the provision in Article I, section 9, concerning
the right of habeas corpus.
Per supreme court ruling: The President can declare martial law when circumstances warrant it: When the civil authority cannot operate, then martial
law is not only constitutional, but would be necessary: "If, in foreign invasion or civil war, the courts are actually closed, and it is impossible
to administer criminal justice according to law, then, on the theatre of active military operations, where war really prevails, there is a necessity
to furnish a substitute for the civil authority, thus overthrown, to preserve the safety of the army and society; and as no power is left but the
military, it is allowed to govern by martial rule until the laws can have their free course. As necessity creates the rule, so it limits its duration;
for, if this government is continued after the courts are reinstated, it is a gross usurpation of power. Martial rule can never exist where the courts
are open, and in the proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction. It is also confined to the locality of actual war
[edit on 21-7-2008 by tide88]