All posts by William C. Banks

Professor William C. Banks is an internationally recognized authority in national security law, counterterrorism, and constitutional law. Banks has helped set the parameters for the emerging field of national security law since 1987, co-authoring two leading texts in the field: National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law. In 2008, Banks was named the College of Law Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor at Syracuse University, where he has been a member of the faculty for over 30 years.

Providing “Supplemental Security”– The Insurrection Act and the Military Role in Responding to Domestic Crises

It is well known that the American Revolution was spurred in large part by the colonists’ reaction to King George’s use of the military to enforce English laws in the colonies. After the colonists had become sufficiently disgruntled by the increasingly martial measures imposed by the King, the drafters of the Declaration of Independence listed among its central complaints the tendencies of the English Crown “to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.”

Just as King Charles had been beheaded in 1649 for violating what became a fundamental Anglo- American value – that soldiers are respected for defeating enemies of the state but are never to be used against their civilian neighbors – King George lost the colonies when he employed troops to control disorderly civilians.