+Crockett, Danielle, The Insurrection Act and Executive Power to Respond with Force to Natural Disasters (UC Berkeley School of Law, Law 224.9, Disasters & the Law, Spring 2007) (PDF — 172K)
"In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Congress amended the Insurrection Act of 1807. The Act enables the President to deploy the military 'to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.' The amended Act expands the language of the original Act to include natural disasters, epidemics, or other serious public health emergencies, terrorist attacks or incidents, or other conditions. Opponents of the amendment, most notably all fifty governors, criticize the amendment as a presidential power grab aimed at suppressing the power of the states and increasing the role of the military in domestic affairs.
This paper argues that the amendment to the Insurrection Act does not affect the President's existing powers to deploy the military domestically. Instead, this paper argues that the amendment merely clarifies the situations that justify the use of the military to respond to domestic disorder. An analysis of the historical use of the Act and the Act's language indicates that justification for presidential action prior to the amendment focused on the extent, rather than the source of the domestic disorder. The changes made in October of 2006 provide explicit examples of situations that may lead to events of public disorder justifying the President's invocation of the Act's authority. In addition, political and historical limitations, along with limitations in the Act itself, will restrict presidential abuse of the power. Thus, the uproar over the recent changes to the Insurrection Act and the fears of martial law are unfounded."—Abstract.
+Henjum, Matt, The Clarksburg Old Sugar Mill Project: Proposed Residential Development in the Delta's Primary Zone (UC Berkeley School of Law, Law 224.9, Disasters & the Law, Spring 2007) (PDF — 100K)
"The vulnerability of California's Delta region to massive flooding stands as one of the state's most urgent policy issues. One of the state's few tools in place to curb urbanization in the Delta is the Delta Protection Act. Adopted in 1992, the Act created the Delta Protection Commission as the regulatory body charged with overseeing development in the Delta. Reflecting a spirit of political compromise, however, the Act limits the jurisdiction of the Commission to the Delta's primary zone while development in the secondary zone goes unregulated. The Delta Protection Commission was called into action for the first time in the fall of 2006 when the Yolo County Board of Supervisors approved a plan for residential development on land presumed to be within the primary zone. In February of 2007 the Commission voted to officially reject the development as a violation of the Delta Protection Act. The primary basis for the Commission's decision was that the Old Sugar Mill Project would 'expose the public to increased flood hazards.' The Commission's decision is, however, appealable in court, and, reflecting the Commission's grossly insufficient regulatory authority, it is uncertain whether the decision will withstand a legal challenge.
"Even if the Delta Protection Commission's decision is ultimately upheld in court, however, the Clarksburg situation demonstrates the irrationality, and unacceptability, of California's Delta land-use regulatory scheme. At present, developments that pose a clear risk to public safety and the long run health of both the Delta and state economy go unchallenged simply because certain land is designated as the secondary zone and, thus, falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of local governments. In order to alleviate this untenable situation California must create a dominant regulatory body with the authority to strictly oversee land-use throughout the Delta region."—Abstract.