posse comitatus


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

posse com·i·ta·tus

 (kŏm′ĭ-tā′təs)
n.
See posse.

[Medieval Latin posse comitātūs : Medieval Latin posse, power, body of men (from Latin, to be able; see potent) + comitātūs, genitive of comitātus, county, territory of a count; see county.]

Posse Comitatus

 the body of men over the age of fifteen which the sheriff of an English county could raise as a force in a crisis, 1285.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.posse comitatus - a temporary police force
constabulary, police, police force, law - the force of policemen and officers; "the law came looking for him"
posseman - an able-bodied man serving as a member of a posse
References in classic literature ?
It being therefore evident that the supposition of a want of power to require the aid of the POSSE COMITATUS is entirely destitute of color, it will follow, that the conclusion which has been drawn from it, in its application to the authority of the federal government over the militia, is as uncandid as it is illogical.
A good deal was said about sending for the sheriff; some hints were given about calling out the posse comitatus to avenge the insulted laws; and many of the citizens were collected, deliberating how to proceed.
They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc.
The great irony is that the pervasive presence of contractors doing military and governmental functions dissipates the Posse Comitatus concerns.
Areas of discussion include a brief history of domestic operations--including the authorizations and limitations of the Stafford Act--the Posse Comitatus Act, the Insurrection Act, and the commander's use of intelligence collection assets in DSCA operations, along with some examples.
The endowment of such a power to the president by the Congress is nothing less than a de facto legislative repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the law forbidding the use of the military in domestic law enforcement.
Posse comitatus is the legal power of sheriffs and other officials to summon armed citizens to aid in keeping the peace.
The Posse Comitatus Act (1878) has served to keep law enforcement efforts less militaristic.
Although the Posse Comitatus Act (7) prohibits the use of federal military personnel in an independent law enforcement capacity within the United States, the Army may provide DSCA "in response to requests for assistance from civil authorities for domestic emergencies, law enforcement support, and other domestic activities, or from qualifying entities for special events.
constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is Posse Comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at U.
Just as the posse comitatus law prevents the military from enforcing domestic criminal law, this same law "should be clearly extended and strictly applied to the NSA, the CIA and similar organizations, including some aspects of the work done by the FBI.
Doing so would involve the application of police powers, which is proscribed by the Posse Comitatus Act (18 USC [section]1385 (1878)).