Under the radar in most spheres until now, Wisconsin Assembly Bill 203 (introduced in April, 2009) seeks to restore a Constitutional balance to the common practice of federalizing the national guard.

AB203 “requires the governor to examine every federal order that places the Wisconsin national guard on federal active duty to determine if that order is lawful and valid. If the governor determines that the federal order is not lawful or valid, the bill requires the governor to take appropriate action, which may include commencing legal action in state or federal court, to prevent the Wisconsin national guard from being placed on federal active duty.”

The bill also “requires the governor to submit to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature a summary of the governor’s review of every federal order that places the Wisconsin national guard on federal active duty and any action he or she takes in response to that review.”

The Guard considers its charter to be the Constitution of the United States, and specifically mentions Article I, Section 8, Clause 15:

Clause 15 provides that the Congress has three constitutional grounds for calling up the militia — “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection and repel invasions.” All three standards appear to be applicable only to the Territory of the United States.

Read the full text of the Bill below:

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

AB203, s. 1
Section 1. 321.02 (3) of the statutes is created to read:

321.02 (3) The governor shall examine every federal order that places the national guard on federal active duty after the effective date of this subsection …. [LRB inserts date], to determine whether the order is lawful and valid. If the governor determines that the order is not lawful or valid, he or she shall take appropriate action to prevent the national guard from being placed on federal active duty. Appropriate action may include commencing a legal action in state or federal court to prevent the national guard from being placed on federal active duty.

The governor shall submit a report to the standing committees of the legislature with specified subject matter jurisdiction over military affairs, as provided under s. 13.172 (3), that summarizes his or her review of every order that places the national guard on federal active duty and any action he or she takes in response to that review, within 30 days after his or her review is complete.


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