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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Trump Faces Bipartisan Opposition at Both the State and Federal Level after Declaring a National Emergency


Congressional Democrats move to join the 16 US States that are fighting the President over his decision to Declare a national emergency.

The 16 US states have filed a lawsuit over the legality of the emergency, as even the President himself agrees other measures could have been taken.

“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this,” Trump told reporters at a press conference. “But I’d rather do it much faster.” The President declared the emergency in order to give himself the power to build the border wall he has been promising his supporters since he began his campaign.

Congressional Democrats have introduced a resolution to prevent the President from exercising the emergency powers he has given himself.

“Trump is declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress, to build a wall we don’t need, to address a crisis that doesn’t exist, by claiming an authority he doesn’t have,” tweeted Representative Adam Schiff of California. On the opposing side, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio tweeted, “Of course it’s a national emergency.” Jordan referenced a drug bust of enough fentanyl to kill 57 million Americans, the “caravans” of Central American refugees, and families who have lost children to violence caused by immigrants.

Despite the number of illegal immigrants having dropped by over 1.5 million in the last decade according to Pew Research, and despite immigrants being known to commit less crimes than native born Americans according to the Cato Institute, The President has made securing the southern border a key part of his administration’s agenda. Trump believes he can bypass Congress to both fund and build his border wall using military assets if he declares a National State of Emergency.

If Trump himself saw that he “didn’t need to do this,” it may be difficult for a judge to see the situation any differently.

In defense of Trump’s actions, White House advisor Steven Miller told Fox News, “We see an increasing number of people crossing the border as well as increasing violence in Mexico. What the president was saying is that like past presidents, he could choose to ignore this crisis, choose to ignore this emergency as others have; that’s not what he’s going to do.”

The lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court for Northern California. It begins, “The States… bring this action to protect their residents, natural resources, and economic interests from President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution.”

Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman told The New York Times that the main legal issue here is Trump’s proposed use of military force to build the wall.

“From the founding onward, the American constitutional tradition has profoundly opposed the president’s use of the military to enforce domestic law,” wrote Ackerman.

According to professor Ackerman, section five of the National Emergency Powers Act allows for Congress to deny the emergency within the first 15 days of it being declared. Congress is well on its way to using this power. This Friday, Democrats in Congress have introduced a resolution to block the President from asserting his emergency powers, and over a dozen Republicans agree.

Rand Paul called the declaration of emergency a “disappointment” believing, “extraconstitutional executive actions are wrong, no matter which party does them.” 16 other Republican senators echo Paul’s concerns, fearing the precedent of Presidential overreach this could set, and defying their party’s President. In fact, less than 25 percent of Republicans in Congress support Trump’s border wall plan.

The idea that The Right does not support the decision to declare an emergency can be identified in which states are suing the President.

There of course are historically liberal states such as Connecticut and Illinois on the list, but historically conservative-learning states such as Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico and Michigan are also present. Trump won Michigan in 2016.

The country has already paid a hefty toll due to the fight over the President’s proposed wall.

From December 2018 through January 2019, the US experienced the longest government shutdown in US history due to partisan disagreements over whether or not to fund a 5.7-billion-dollar wall across 2,000 miles of the US/Mexico border. According to PolitiFact, the government loses 4 million dollars every hour it is shut down. The shutdown lasted 35 days, with an estimated loss of 3.6 billion dollars in GDP. The bipartisan deal which prevented a second shutdown would have allocated 1.3 billion dollars to pay for 55 miles of wall across the most heavily trafficked areas. However, Trump’s vison for the wall ever since he first proposed it in 2015 requires 1,000 miles of wall and/or fencing.

Despite this, President Trump went ahead with declaring the emergency and plans on using military force to build the wall, which constitutional scholars like Ackerman say is not a power the National Emergency Powers Act grants.

Between the effort by the States’ Lawsuit and the Congressional resolution, bipartisan efforts to stop the President from asserting his emergency powers are mounting. Every single Representative from a district that borders Mexico is against the wall.

Trump was aware of all the legal backlash as soon as he declared the emergency however, saying, “We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued. And they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit… And we’ll possibly get a bad ruling and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up the Supreme Court.”

He’s been prepared to fight this legal battle from the start, hoping the Supreme Court and its conservative majority will give him what he wants.

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