Cliven Bundy and the Posse Comitatus Movement

Speaking of Cliven Bundy and Reconstruction…Rachel Maddow offered a fascinating segment last night showing the connections between Bundy’s resistance to federal authority and the Posse Comitatus Movement, rooted in Reconstruction-era efforts to remove federal military authority from the South. It’s a long segment, but it’s Friday and all, so if you have time give it a gander:

In passing Maddow cited a 2008 Washington Monthly piece by Kevin Carey retailing the history of the Posse Comitatus movement, whose exotic legal theories were being used, ironically, by African-American drug dealers accused of murder in Baltimore.

Bundy is standing on a long and disreputable tradition.

Washington Monthly - Donate Today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.