Martial law is in effect when police or military restrict freedom of movement
The massive snowstorm that hit the east coast over the weekend gave New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo the chance to act out his fantasies as a petty dictator.
Cuomo declared a state of emergency and said New Yorkers should stay inside. He also ordered a travel ban for “all local and state roads in New York City, the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway on Long Island, and Port Authority’s trans-Hudson crossings.”
The NYPD backed up Cuomo’s declaration with a threat:
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) January 23, 2016
— CNN (@CNN) January 23, 2016
This fits the definition of martial law.
There is no precise definition for martial law, according to the Supreme Court, but it is generally agreed martial law is in effect when the military or the police restrict freedom of movement.