Is Martial Law a possibility?

Megan Krok, Copy Editor

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump declared our nation in a state of emergency in regards to the coronavirus outbreak. With this state of emergency, the president has more authoritative flexibility, and certain statutes such as the Social Security Act and the Stafford Act are enabled. But with this declaration of emergency, martial law can also be enacted; this idea is striking fear within some Americans.

What is martial law? According to the Military Times, it is the replacement of civil rule with temporary military authority in a time of crisis. For example, the military can replace the role of the police, the court system, etc. within the area that martial law was put into action. 

Previously when martial law was enacted in the United States, it was during a time of war, such as Hawaii after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, or a natural disaster, like New Orleans after Katrina in 2005. The US has never been in a state of crisis over a pandemic, which is causing panic for some Americans.

Some are fearful that under martial law, our state would completely be under lockdown, with no one allowed to leave their house and travel. Lawmakers are now looking to martial law to help combat the spread COVID-19. Self-quarantine and social-distancing are being heavily encouraged, yet some people are not following these precautions, thus martial law may be necessary.

What can you do to prevent this extreme? Continue practicing good hygiene, by washing your hands and disinfecting when needed, social distancing, and self-quarantine. If you have any more questions regarding COVID-19 or martial law, contact your local city officials.