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Trump's Emergency/Leon Panetta plus David Frum at The Atlantic: A State of Unreality

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After signing a congressional funding bill, President Trump plans to declare a national emergency to obtain additional money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But would such an executive action be lawful?

Judy Woodruff speaks with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about who decides what constitutes a national emergency and whether the president is attempting to circumvent Congress.

Panetta: This year, looking at all the statistics, the numbers of people coming across the border has gone down. The enforcement has gone up. Generally, it's a hard case to make that it constitutes the kind of a national emergency that would be able to support the president's move here.

If there's a resolution that is raised in both the House and the Senate to basically reject this declaration of emergency, then Congress would have the first say as to whether or not it really constitutes an emergency.

But, ultimately, the courts will have to decide whether, indeed, the president has this kind of power. Look, Judy, we're operating under a Constitution that provides checks and balances. And those checks and balances are aimed at trying to limit the power of the president, the power of the Congress, power of the courts.

That's why our forefathers created it. A president who now uses a national emergency to bypass the will of Congress with regards to funding for a wall is basically rejecting an important check and balance that was built into our Constitution."


By David Frum at The Atlantic: A State of Unreality

Trump's emergency declaration is going to run into four hurdles.

click here

White House in 2020. Yet once the courts get done, Trump's precedent might actually set new limits on presidential emergency powers.

Remember, the most binding Supreme Court ruling on emergency powers delivered a rebuke to presidential power: the 1952 steel-seizure case Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company v. Sawyer. In the context of a real emergency, the Korean War, President Harry Truman tested the outer limits of his power to seize private property-and got told no. The case governs to this day.

President Donald Trump's declaration of emergency salved yesterday's loss of face-but has not solved any real problems for this administration or the country. In fact, Trump has opened four new problems atop the original problem with which he has flailed.

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