President Trump announced today his intention to sign a new executive order permitting the obligatory quartering of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the homes of United States citizens. In an early morning tweet, the President wrote, “I will sign an executive order so that ICE troops can stay in any house needed in order to stop the Democratic Caravan–no President has been able to get it done, but I will!”
It’s clear that the President has no right to order this, and doing so would be in direct violation of the United States Constitution. Amendment III reads, “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.”
Still, the President received widespread support from members of his own party, including many self-proclaimed Constitutional textualists. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), once an opponent but now a vociferous supporter of the President, tweeted, “Finally, a President willing to take on this absurd policy of preventing the quartering of troops, particularly our ICE agents.”
Supporters of the President have pointed to the phrase, “but in a manner to be prescribed by law,” arguing that we are indeed in a time of war against the “Democrat angry mob” and such times call for the measures being proposed by President Trump. They also note that the Supreme Court has never heard a case on the Third Amendment, meaning it is very possible that the President’s executive order is constitutional.
When House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was asked if he believes President Trump has the power to do this, he responded, “Nope, but have you seen those tax cuts? I mean, WOW,” and quickly ran away.