Edit: this happened in April 2014 and this question was asked an exploration of the event as it unfolded.
There is a showdown going on over the Bureau of Land Management's actions involving their declaring 600k acres that have been used for grazing cattle by several ranchers going back to the mid 1800's as Federal lands under the management of the BLM back in the late 1980's. Since then the courts have declared that the actions of the BLM proper. This drug on through the courts for years and when it was finally ordered that the BLM could remove the rancher's cattle from the land in the mid 1990's President Clinton, in an avalanche of criticism of the actions from ranchers across the country, decided not to allow the BLM to proceed with the removal.
That is until recently when the BLM has made the decision to arrive in force with a relatively large contingent of armed forces in the employ and direction exclusively of US Federal Government Officials to enforce the order that they may confiscate and remove the cattle that prior to this action were the property of and being cared for by a US Citizen that has not been charged with a crime.
Is this a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act?
- This action has not been requested nor authorized by the Governor of the State of Nevada.
- I can find nothing that indicates that the President has declared that there is an insurrection or martial Law in the area as would be allowed pursuant to the Insurrection Act.
- I am aware of no claim that there is the belief that Nuclear materials are endangered, or being threatened to be released, or used as/in a weapon.
- This does not appear to be an operation under the jurisdiction of the Joint Special Operations Command
- The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of federal military forces to "execute the laws". While this armed force looks like a duck, is acting like a duck, sounds like a duck, it is claiming to be a goose. But I am pretty sure that the intent of the law is clear and the the armed force should be considered a Duck in this analogy.