Trump Announces "National Emergency," Causing People to Rethink What an Emergency Even Is

On Feb. 15, President Trump announced a “national emergency” in the United States - the first instance of a U.S. President authorizing military action since 9/11. Trump’s unexpected declaration of a so-called “emergency” has caused many states to file lawsuits.

Supposedly, the President went against Congress’ wishes even after they refused his plea for funding. Politicians claim Trump “took advantage” of his emergency powers in order to receive the finances needed to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice, supervised a study over past presidents’ invocations of power.

“There is nothing approaching an ‘emergency’ in this situation, no matter how loose a definition you use … Congress has made it as clear as it can that it does not want the president to use funds for this purpose, so this is the president using emergency powers to thwart the will of Congress. That is very different from how emergency powers have been used in the past,” Goitein explained to The New York Times.

Brennan’s co-director is not the only one who feels this way. As of now, there are 16 states filing a lawsuit against Trump, including California, New York and Maryland. The only one of the 16 states that has a Republican governor is Maryland, though the state’s attorney general is a Democrat.

Chris Edelson, author of “Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror” sees the danger behind Trump’s actions.

“There is no example [before Trump] where a president asked for funding for something from Congress, Congress said, ‘No,’ and the president said, ‘I’ll use emergency powers to do it anyway,’” Edelson said.

Many people are urging for the 25th Amendment to be put into rule, which enables the current president to be replaced or removed from office for either inability, resignation, etc. There was even a point in time where officials contemplated on the idea of impeaching Trump and dismissing him from his presidential duties. Although, such serious measures would only be taken after a major mistake or inability is shown.

Have the President’s actions gone so far to the point of impeachment, or worse, removal from office? The biggest question, however, is if Trump is the “national emergency” we need to be worrying about.


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