President Donald Trump is urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to deploy the National Guard to quell ongoing unrest and violence. If not, Trump says he'll deploy U.S. forces himself to New York.

But does he have the power to do so? Albany Law School Professor Vin Bonventre says, he does. 


What You Need To Know

  • Trump says he would deploy troops if governors and mayors do not.

  • Cuomo says for now he won't after Mayor de Blasio declined.

  • Trump likely has the legal authority to do so, despite opposition.

  • New York City is once again trying to stop unrest.


"By and large, the courts are going to defer to the president," Bonventre said. "And in the past, the courts have deferred to the president under the Insurrection Act and under the Armed Forces Reserve Act."

Attorney General Letitia James says she would challenge any effort to bring U.S. troops into New York without the approval of state officials. Bonventre says it likely would not work. 

For now, Cuomo says the National Guard is on standby. He's not deploying the guard to cities, including New York City, where days of protests have given way to nighttime looting and vandalism. 

Cuomo on Tuesday continued to separate peaceful protesters, who he said have legitimate grievances with policing, and those who are seeking to take advantage of the situation by looting and causing damage. 

"To the protesters, for tonight, I urge them to be calm, be peaceful, so the police don't have to spend a lot of time with the protesters and the protesters can do their job with the looting and the criminal activity," Cuomo said on Tuesday.

New York City is once again implementing a curfew, albeit an earlier one of 8 p.m. this evening until 5 a.m., lasting for the remainder of the week.

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy says Cuomo should heed the president's call and send in guards units now.  

"Cuomo and de blasio should get out of the way and let the National Guard do its job," Langworthy said. 

Bonventre of Albany Law says the effort by Trump recalls something far darker. The National Guard has been traditionally used during natural disasters or to enforce civil rights. This, he says, is different. 

"We know what's going on," he said. "This calling for law and order, it's just a racist dog whistle. This has been used in the past in the 50s, the 60s and even in the 70s."