America Is Facing A Third Amendment Crisis

Elly Belle

The world is full of surprises ⁠— and amidst President Donald Trump declaring martial law and employing the National Guard against protestors, even James Mattis, who resigned as secretary of defense in 2018, has described Trump as a threat to the Constitution.

“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside,” Mattis wrote this week. 

But Mattis is not the only high-up public official speaking out against Trump’s use of the military. On Thursday, June 4, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey also condemned Trump’s use of military force to suppress protestors. In an interview with NPR, Dempsey said, “The idea that the military would be called in to dominate and to suppress what, for the most part, were peaceful protests … and that the military would somehow come in and calm that situation was very dangerous to me.”

As of yesterday, 4,500 National Guard troops have been deployed to Washington, D.C. alone, with members of the military also present in places like Los Angeles and North Dakota — and more are ready to head to other states upon command. Some members of the military are being housed in local hotels during all this. However, Washington, D.C. Mayor Bowser says she wants out-of-state troops to leave Washington, and she’s kicking them out of hotels. 

But now that the military has not only been deployed to combat protestors but is being removed from hotels, America has yet another thing to worry about: We’re facing a Third Amendment crisis. The Third Amendment of the Constitution states, “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Once thought to be totally irrelevant by some, the Third Amendment is certainly relevant now, and people are starting to worry that they might have to invoke it amidst protests turned violent because of agitation from the police officers and troops, in order to keep the National Guard out of their homes.

People have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns about how necessary the Third Amendment has become in present times, with members of the military looking for places to stay. Utah Senator Mike Lee tweeted, “Just heard that Mayor Bowser is kicking the Utah National Guard out of all DC hotels tomorrow. More than 1200 troops from 10 states are being evicted. This is unacceptable” on June 4. Early in the morning the following day, Lee J. Carter, who represents the 50th district in the Virginia House of Delegates, gladly responded. Quote tweeting Mike Lee, Carter replied, saying, “It’s finally happening. I get to say it. THIRD AMENDMENT RIGHTS, ASSHOLE!”

That seems to sum up the sentiments that many people online currently have about the presence of the National Guard in DC, with many worrying and wondering what exactly will happen now that out of state troops are clearly not welcome to have a pleasant stay in the area. Will Trump further abuse and abandon the Constitution to suit his own agenda? The answer might not be so promising.

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