George Floyd's Protest: Sen. Cotton suggests use of Army division that specializes in air assaults to quell protests

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is calling for the use of the military — including an Army division that specializes in air assault operations — to quell the violent protests that have erupted in cities across the country.

Cotton, often mentioned as a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, made his push in tweets and on morning television, arguing that “anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight.”

“If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let's see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they're facing off with the 101st Airborne Division,” Cotton said in one tweet, referencing the Army division nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles.”

In a subsequent tweet, the senator listed other military units that he said could be deployed, saying he favors “whatever it takes to restore order.”

“No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters,” he wrote.

Generally speaking, the president cannot utilize the military for domestic law enforcement. But under the Insurrection Act, exceptions can be made at the request of a governor or state legislature.

This authority was invoked in 1992, when California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) sought federal military assistance from President George H.W. Bush in response to the riots that erupted in Los Angeles in the wake of the arrest and beating of Rodney King.

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