Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Tennessee Journalist.
If you haven’t heard by now, President Trump declared a national emergency to appropriate funds to build the wall along our southern border. Democrats saw this coming a mile away and still made a big deal about it when Trump made his declaration. What they should have done to truly stop him was include a clause in their bill that prohibits the re-allocation of funds. But they didn’t, so here we are with a national emergency declared.
Is it Constitutional?
The obvious question comes into play about if this move is constitutional. The cornerstone for this is whether or not there is a crisis on the Southern border. Per the 1976 National Emergencies Act, the President has the right to declare a national emergency when he deems a crisis is happening. Trump has repeatedly said that there is a crisis at the border. On Monday, Feb. 18, 16 states led by California filed a lawsuit against the national emergency, declaring it unconstitutional and potentially stealing funds previously allocated to their state.
This is idiotic for two main reasons.
1. Trump has said in his initial press conference that the funds will come from DOD funds not having a specific allocation. So to claim that the funds for the border wall might interfere with funds allocation to their state just doesn’t make sense. Even if there might be a case with that (and that’s a big ‘if’), the re-allocation has yet to happen so it’s difficult to prove this and get a hearing in court.
2. Trump already predicted lawsuits would be filed against him and the Democrats certainly wasted no time doing so. But the 16 plaintiff states have to first get a court willing to hear their case. If they do, they then have to prove that there is measurable and explicit harm done to them by the national emergency.
How difficult will it be to prove?
The plaintiff states will then have to prove that the declaration was unconstitutional which will be difficult simply because the Constitution does not specify what is and is not a crisis. They will also have to prove this in court.
Democratic leadership may try congressional action, however this will be very difficult because we now have a split congress. Anything they try will easily pass the House, but will fall flat on its face in the Senate.
As of Feb. 22, The House seeks to pass a a bill to block the national emergency. They are passing it as a ‘privileged’ resolution, which means it takes priority and will only require 51 votes, as opposed to the usual 60. Assuming all 47 Democrats pass, they will only need 4 Republicans to vote for it.
I’ve heard critics argue that illegal border crossings are at their lowest point. That’s true, largely in part of policies Trump has enacted since he took office. However, just because that’s true doesn’t mean a wall isn’t necessary. There are still numerous murders and other violent acts committed by illegal aliens.
Critics also like to argue that this sets unprecedented standards. That it showcases the President forgoing that checks and balances set forth in the Constitution. However, they did this to themselves. Leading Democrats, including those in the 2020 Presidential race have admitted at one time or another that this boils down to they don’t want Trump’s wall because it’s a campaign win for him. They also use to be for border security and stopping illegal immigration. Campus Reform published an article that shows college students horrified at remarks made about immigration, only to find out they were made by leading Democrats. So yes, this might be unprecedented but Trump was forced in this position.
Edited by Kaitlin Flippo
Featured image by Staff Sgt. Tony Harp, U.S. Air National Guard, courtesy of Creative Commons