Whitmer seeks broader authority to deploy National Guard for crisis response

(The Detroit News | March 19, 2020) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday formally requested authority from President Donald Trump to expand use of the National Guard in Michigan by calling up members to aid in the humanitarian response to the coronavirus outbreak on the federal dime.

In a Thursday interview, Whitmer stressed that the National Guard would serve a supporting, humanitarian role and would not be involved in law enforcement or policing …

… The National Governors Association sent a similar Title 32 request to Esper on behalf of its membership Thursday, asking that he mobilize the National Guard to federal status.

“We believe that this authority, in support of the current National Emergency, will ensure more streamlined and operationally effective and responsive operations to support our communities and citizens in combatting COVID-19,” the letter reads.

The most efficient thing to do would be to grant the NGA’s response, since other governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo are making the same request individually, said William C. Banks, a professor at Syracuse University specializing in national security law.

“It’s a tremendous fiscal advantage for the state. It also enables the National Guard to do whatever they’re trained to do, including enforcing local laws if need be,” Banks said.

The National Guard was deployed in states under Title 32 authority after 9/11 and in response to disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Banks said …

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