In Part I, I catalog the historical context in which the PCA was passed and describe the military events that are most commonly used to support the case for sharply divided civilian and military authorities. In Part II, I discuss the true purpose and intent of the PCA: to prohibit civilian marshals from calling forth active duty military to enforce domestic law. I also explore the contours of the emergency power doctrine to show that it is not clear that Congress could limit Executive action as a revamped PCA may attempt to do. Lastly, in Part III, I examine whether a PCA-like law is even necessary by discussing its commonly proffered justifications. Ultimately, I conclude that these justifications are flawed and that the PCA is unnecessary.
Candidus Dougherty, "Necessity Hath No Law": Executive Power and the Posse Comitatus Act, 31 Campbell L. Rev. 1 (2008).