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act (s) (noun), acts (pl)
1. Something that is done or a deed that is performed: Sam expressed an act of kindness when he saw a homeless woman and offered to get her a hamburger and a drink from a sandwich shop.

Hank did a series of acts of kindness for the poor woman who lived next door.

2. A process of doing certain things: The neighbor's son was caught in three acts of stealing.
3. The main divisions of a play or an opera: The drama that the audience attended had five acts.
4. Displays of affected or pretended behavior: Sharon is not really angry; she has been putting on these acts just to get attention.
This entry is located in the following unit: ag-, agen-, act-, agi-, agit- (page 1)
act (verb), acts; acted; acting
1. To do something; to exert energy or some force; to be employed or operative: Henry acted promptly in helping the people in the auto accident.
2. To reach, to make, or to issue a decision on some matter.
3. To operate or function in a particular way; to perform specific duties or functions: Shirley was acting as a child's substitute mother until her parents were able to return home.
This entry is located in the following units: ag-, agen-, act-, agi-, agit- (page 1) Quotes: Acts, Action (page 1)
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(Greek > Latin: a suffix; action, act, process, state, or condition; or result of doing something)
(Greek > Latin: seashore, beach, strand, promontory)
(Latin: suffix; state, quality, condition, or act of; forming nouns)
(Latin: to set in motion, to hurry, to shake; to drive; to do, to act; to lead, to conduct, to guide)
(Latin: suffix; quality of, act of, process, function, condition, or place; forms nouns that denote an action; a product of an action; a place, an abode)
(Greek: struggle, a contest, to contend for a prize; also, to lead, set in motion, drive, conduct, guide, govern; to do, to act; by extension, pain)
(Latin: often through French, quality or state of; being; condition; act or fact of _______ ing; a suffix that forms nouns)
(Latin: a suffix; to do, to make, to cause, or to act upon; to do something with)
(Latin: a suffix; result of the act of, means of, place for)
(Latin: result of the act of, means of)
(Latin: a suffix; result of the act of, means of)
(Latin: a suffix; small, tiny; also, result of the act of, means of)
(Unknown origin: act or habit of showing off)
(Latin: a suffix; from agere to set in motion, to drive, to lead; to do, to act)
(Greek > Latin: a suffix that forms nouns; state of, condition of, quality of; act of)
(Latin: a suffix; to act in a certain way; to treat in a certain way; to make into; to treat with; to do; to make; to cause)
(Latin: suffix used to form abstract nouns expressing act, state, quality, property, or condition corresponding to an adjective)
(Latin: a suffix; to act in a certain way; to treat in a certain way; to make into; to treat with; to do; to make; to cause)
(Latin: a suffix; result of, means of, act of)
(Latin: a suffix; result of, means of, act of; place of action)
(Greek: represent, impersonate, copy; imitate, act as; simulate, simulation)
(Latin: yawning, the act of yawning; to gape [see the definitions for these words below])
(Act of 1878, The Power of the County)
(Greek > Latin: to do, to exercise, doing; action, activity, practice; the opposite of theory; from the stem of prassein, "to do, to act")
(Greek > Latin: to recollect, to remember; act of recalling; to recall to memory; to remind of past events)
(Latin: sneeze, act of sneezing)
(Latin: a suffix forming nouns from verbs of condition and action; an act or process: resumption, absorption; state or condition, redemption, exhaustion; something resulting from or otherwise related to an act or process, assumption, friction)
(Latin: a suffix; result of, the act of, means of)
(Latin: a suffix that denotes an act or result, result of the act of)
(Greek: a suffix that means; state of, condition of, quality of, act of)
Word Entries containing the term: “act
ACT test
American College Test test, a college-entrance examination
This entry is located in the following units: Pleonasms or Tautological Redundancies (page 1) testa-, test- (page 1)
disappearing act (s) (noun), disappearing acts (pl)
An instance when someone you want to talk to is impossible to find.
This entry is located in the following unit: pare-, pari-, pear- (page 1)
Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

The name Posse Comitatus means, “the Power of the County”, bringing to mind colorful images of the old west county sheriff swearing in a posse to pursue fleeing criminals.

The Act was born out of the extensive use of federal troops for law enforcement in the South following the Civil War. Congress, recognizing that the long-term use of the Army to enforce civilian laws posed a potential danger to the military’s subordination to civilian control, passed the Act.

The 1878 Posse Comitatus Act made it a crime for anyone to use the Army to enforce federal, state, or local civil laws.

The prohibitions of the Act are directed at preventing the military from becoming a national police force or Guardia Civil. Accordingly, the Act prohibits anyone from using the military to “execute the laws". Execution of the laws includes the arrest or detention of criminal suspects, search and seizure activities, restriction of civilian movement through the use of blockades or checkpoints, gathering of evidence, and certain uses of military personnel as undercover narcotics officers.

In essence, the closer the role of the military personnel comes to that of a police officer on the beat, the greater the likelihood that the Act is being violated.

Military Involvement During National Emergencies

The frequency with which the military has become involved in civilian law matters has varied throughout our history, typically reaching high points during times of national emergency. The difference in the 1990’s; however, has been to increase the routine use of the military in domestic law enforcement activities during a period of relative national calm and security.

Statutes and regulations enacted in the past decade permit the use of military personnel in drug interdiction, and immigration enforcement.

Although such involvement is supposed to be “indirect” under those statutes, the reality is that armed active duty military personnel are carrying out an enforcement activity that brings them into direct contact with criminal suspects.

The fact is that the political interest in stopping drug and alien smuggling is currently greater than the concern as to whether the military is being injected into a traditional civilian law enforcement role contrary to the principles upon which the Posse Comitatus Act was founded.

The military possesses unique training and equipment advantages in this arena that cannot be duplicated by civilian law enforcement. The fact that the National Guard is not subject to the Posse Comitatus Act while in its state status also provides a great deal of flexibility to planners for homeland defense.

National Guard Troops May Be Employed in Law Enforcement

National Guard troops may be actively employed in law enforcement activities in addition to their military specialty. While to the untrained eye the distinction between a BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) clad Army Reservist and a BDU clad National Guardsman may be nonexistent, the legal distinction between them is significant.

During a natural disaster Army reservists or Guardsman may both provide logistical aid such as water purification, medical assistance, and communications; however, due to the Posse Comitatus Act, it is only the Guardsman in his/her State status that can take an active role in suppressing looting and in providing general security for an area that has lost effective law enforcement control.

Constitutional Authority of the President Allows Utilization of Military to Preserve Civilian Laws

By virtue of the several statutory exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act in the past decade, coupled with the general Constitutional authority of the President to preserve order, there are few areas of domestic law enforcement activity where the military is precluded from participating in times of national emergency or disaster.

While the Posse Comitatus Act still serves a valuable function in deterring a lower level commander or politician from engaging in unauthorized “police” activity using military forces, the Act today provides little hindrance to the National Command Authority in executing civilian laws in times of emergency through military personnel.

Through proper, legal declarations of Presidential emergency authority and/or through the use of National Guard assets in state status, it is increasingly likely that the military will play a significant enforcement role in response to domestic terrorism and other disasters for the foreseeable future.

—Compiled from information located in the following sources:
The Free Dictionary, Posse Comitatus Act ;
The Free Dictionary, Posse Comitatus (disambiguation);
Wikipedia, Posse Comitatus Act;
Wikipedia, Posse Comitatus, Common Law;
Encyclopedia Britannica; William Benton, Publisher;
Chicago; 1968; page 305.
Word Entries at Get Words: “act
1. Being in physical motion; such as, active fish in the aquarium.
2. Functioning or capable of functioning.
3. In grammar, idicating that the subject of the sentence is performing or causing the action expressed by the verb.

Referring to a verb form or voice; used with verbs; such as, run, speak, and move: "I run, You run, He, She, It runs."

This entry is located in the following unit: Abbreviations Frequently Encountered (page 1)
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(A suffix forming nouns meaning: quality or condition: partnership; act, power, or skill: workmanship; relation between: friendship; office, position, or occupation: governorship; number: readership)
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bail reform act
An original act passed in 1966 to assure that bail practices would be revised to ensure that everyone, regardless of his/her financial status, will not needlessly be detained to answer criminal charges.

It gave judges and magistrates greater autonomy to decide conditions under which bail would be granted or denied; however, it does not mean that every one is entitled to bail regardless of the alleged offense.

This entry is located in the following unit: Criminal Court Words or Judicial Terms + (page 5)