Under the Constitution, the organized militia (now called the National Guard after the 1903 Dick Acgt) may only be called into duty by the federal government in three specific situations. According to Article I, Section 8; Clause 15, the Congress is given the power to pass laws for “calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
The organized militia was intended by the Founders and Ratifiers to be defense force and nothing more. Deployments outside the country were not considered, and neither were internal deployments in pursuance of powers that were not delegated to the federal government.
Congress has passed numerous laws in the past 100 years giving the federal government additional authority not mentioned in the Constitution. But, without amendment, altering the enumerated powers by legislative fiat is, in and of itself, unconstitutional. Campaigns in states around the country are working to reassert the authority of governors over guard troops.
Legend: Blue – Introduced. Yellow – Passed one or more houses.
Red – Became Law. Black – Failed Vote. White – Nothing Introduced.
2011 Legislation (previous years below)