Debate Magazine

And by the Way, Does the Constitution Only Give the Federal Government the Power to Organize, Arm, and Discipline the Militia When It Has Been Federal

Posted on the 10 August 2011 by Mikeb302000
Does the Constitution only give the federal government the power to organize, arm, and discipline the militia when it has been federalized?

referring to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16

To 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;

No. The federal government always has the power to "organize, arm and discipline" the state militias. It has this power regardless of whether or not the state militias are called up by the federal government. Furthermore, it routinely used this power at times when no state militias were called up by the federal government. When the state militias are called up, the federal government has additional powers over them, but this has nothing to do with the other powers.

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