Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

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Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby toucana on January 5th, 2019, 1:50 am 

President Trump has threatened to declare a National Emergency and use his executive powers to seize land and build his border ‘Wall’ with Mexico without the explicit support of congress.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-threatens-shut-down-government-months-or-even-years-schumer-n954856

The question of interest is whether he can legally and constitutionally pursue any such a course of action ?

One interesting precedent occured during the presidency of Harry Truman at the height of the Korean war. In 1952 President Truman issued an executive order to seize steel plants that were having labour troubles and threatening to go on strike.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youngstown_Sheet_%26_Tube_Co._v._Sawyer

In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, the “Steel Seizure Case,” the Supreme Court held 6-3 that Truman exceeded his authority when he issued an executive order directing the commerce secretary to seize steel mills to avert a strike during the Korean War.

In his concurrence, Justice Robert H. Jackson set out the president’s power in three situations:

1) when the president acts in accordance with “an express or implied authorization of Congress,” the president is at his broadest authority;

2) when the president acts without “either a congressional grant or denial of authority,” his power is based only upon reliance of his own independent powers” where there is potential for concurrent authority with Congress; and,

3) when the president acts against the express or implied will of Congress, “his power is at its lowest ebb.”

Jackson found that the seizure by Truman fell within the third category. The Jackson concurrence has subsequently been relied upon when assessing the extent of a president’s authority.

Any attempt by Trump to build a wall by force majeure in the name of a National Emergency would not only involve a legally problematic seizure of private land, it would also involve commandeering the industrial output of steel production plants within the US (Walls are made of steel), and would collide head-on with the precedent of the Jackson concurrence.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby TheVat on January 5th, 2019, 9:00 pm 

This is a legitimate issue in political theory. Mods are asked to leave this thread as is.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Serpent on January 5th, 2019, 10:32 pm 

When declaring a state of emergency, doesn't the president have to state for the record what emergency he's responding to, and how this proposed measure averts the emergency? (Asking sincerely: I don't know the protocol.)
Of course, Truman was wrong in the first instance: Korea posed no threat to the US, in the second: a slowing of tank production wouldn't have substantially affected the non-winning potition they were already in and the third: even if both of those pre-conditions had obtained, the same result could be achieved by giving the workers what they wanted.

In Trump's case, migrants pose no threat to the US; a wall wouldn't get built just because he seized some farms; even if a wall got built, it wouldn't neutralize the non-threat.

Also, wouldn't he need the armed forces - or at least state militias - to co-operate?
Would they - knowing it's clearly unconstitutional?
And that the man giving the order is under the shadow of impeachment?
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby -1- on January 6th, 2019, 5:23 am 

True, but wasn't his presidency mainly decided by a majority support (questionable, but still) of his agenda to build the wall? This issue: popular support and campaign promise of the very act, was a not a part of the case precedent with Truman. Can argue that the People voted him in on the promise of the wall.

Also, when Ronald Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers in the USA who had gone on strike, having declared (perhaps? I am not sure of the reason, or rationale, though I was in North America, but my English was poor then) national emergency, or perhaps there is a clause of "essential service", which Reagan invoked when he issued his order.

In effect, I don't know if Reagan invoked a national emergency or the "essential service" act, but I do believe he did that without the support of the House or the Congress.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Serpent on January 6th, 2019, 11:42 am 

-1- » January 6th, 2019, 4:23 am wrote:True, but wasn't his presidency mainly decided by a majority support (questionable, but still) of his agenda to build the wall?

No. Only 26% of eligible voters cast their ballot for Trump (The questionable part is how many votes cast against him were suppressed.), and that constituency breaks down into several motivation, only one of which is wall-building - maybe 10% support on that issue. (even though he's never stopped campaigning on it and producing ever more overheated anti-immigrant propaganda - probably on the taxpayers' tab)

Can argue that the People voted him in on the promise of the wall.

Not on any substantial grounds. In any case, there was more popular support than that for Obama's campaign promise of health care reform and when his party's bills were rejected, eviscerated and bawdlerized before passage, nobody expected him to seize and nationalize the insurance companies (even though illness is a more real threat to Americans than Guatemalan families are.) Hoover, with 57% of the popular vote, never called out the marines to put "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage".

Reagan't actions were very much in line with Truman's, but he didn't actually nationalize an industry or private lands. Americans are generally okay with union-busting, but property is sacred.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby -1- on January 6th, 2019, 4:19 pm 

Serpent » January 6th, 2019, 11:42 am wrote:
-1- » January 6th, 2019, 4:23 am wrote:True, but wasn't his presidency mainly decided by a majority support (questionable, but still) of his agenda to build the wall?

No. Only 26% of eligible voters cast their ballot for Trump (The questionable part is how many votes cast against him were suppressed.), and that constituency breaks down into several motivation, only one of which is wall-building - maybe 10% support on that issue. (even though he's never stopped campaigning on it and producing ever more overheated anti-immigrant propaganda - probably on the taxpayers' tab)

Can argue that the People voted him in on the promise of the wall.

Not on any substantial grounds. In any case, there was more popular support than that for Obama's campaign promise of health care reform and when his party's bills were rejected, eviscerated and bawdlerized before passage, nobody expected him to seize and nationalize the insurance companies (even though illness is a more real threat to Americans than Guatemalan families are.) Hoover, with 57% of the popular vote, never called out the marines to put "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage".

Reagan't actions were very much in line with Truman's, but he didn't actually nationalize an industry or private lands. Americans are generally okay with union-busting, but property is sacred.


I have a few arguments, but I shut up because I don't want to talk about Trump.

Instead, I wish to cast light on the issue of "national emergency". Who declares a national emergency? Can the president (Trump or others== this is NOT about DT) alone and at his sole decision declare a national emergency?

It seems that if it is declared, then it can be attacked in the courts.

However, if the supreme court is in the hand of the president (Republicant or Democratic, no matter which) , and the president buys them or plays kahootz with them in one way or another, then this is the ticket for Fascism in the USA.

1. The president declares national emergency because of the killer bees. (k.b. - an example.)

2. Someone challenges the NE decision, in court.

3. NE decision is struck down by the court.

4. POTUS appeals.

5. Supreme court decides for the POTUS.

6. President never has to officially end the national emergency; he or she never again needs or is compelled to call an election.

7. Fascism attained. (not Naziism! Please don't make the mistake of mixing the two. Naziism is fascism with a Jew hatred; fascism is a political stagnancy after power is attained by a democratic selection process. It usually is accompanied by concentration of military and political power in the hand of a few or of one; and what we in "free" countries could possibly call "state-run racketeering" as well as nepotism and concentration and officialization of corruption. What makes Fascism into Naziism can be (theoretically) combined with communism, democracy, theocracy, monarchy, anarchy, etc. etc.)
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Serpent on January 6th, 2019, 6:14 pm 

-1- » January 6th, 2019, 3:19 pm wrote:Instead, I wish to cast light on the issue of "national emergency".
Who declares a national emergency?
Can the president (Trump or others== this is NOT about DT) alone and at his sole decision declare a national emergency?
Yes, but he can't act on it alone.

SEC. 201. (a) With respect to Acts of Congress authorizing the
exercise, during the period of a national emergency, of any special
or extraordinary power, the President is authorized to declare such
national emergency. Such proclamation shall immediately be trans-
mitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.


t seems that if it is declared, then it can be attacked in the courts.

It can also be quashed in Congress.
SEC. 202. (a) Any national emergency declared by the President
in accordance with this title shall terminate if—
(1) Congress terminates the emergency by concurrent resolu-
tion ; or
(2) the President issues a proclamation terminating the
emergency.

[National Emergencies Act https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/94/hr3884/text]

However, if the supreme court is in the hand of the president (Republicant or Democratic, no matter which) , and the president buys them or plays kahootz with them in one way or another, then this is the ticket for Fascism in the USA.

It could be, if the president actually owned the Supreme Court judges he or his party predecessors nominated. This is not invariably the case: they are not all corrupt; sometimes it turns out their first loyalty is the law. There are other legal constraints, as well. The particular kind of emergency declared automatically comes under the auspices of the relevant agencies.

1. The president declares national emergency because of the killer bees. (k.b. - an example.)

Then he would have to call on the HHS and EPA to step in, giving them expanded powers and budgets for the task.

2. Someone challenges the NE decision, in court.

When he reports to Congress, they review the matter and approve, amend or countermand the measures he's proposed. If he doesn't and it becomes a legal issue,

3. NE decision is struck down by the court.

4. POTUS appeals.

5. Supreme court decides for the POTUS.

During the legal process, action would be suspended. Meanwhile, the state of emergency would automatically terminate.

6. President never has to officially end the national emergency; he or she never again needs or is compelled to call an election.

He has to set a termination date at the time of declaring. If he wants extensions, they have to be approved by Congress at predetermined intervals.

7. Fascism attained.

Not yet. The EPA was never armed or authorized to use force against US citizens; only to fight killer bees.

I suspect the only kind of national emergency the president can declare that would result in a fascist regime is an open political confrontation: civil war, secession of more than one state, armed uprising or widespread riots, general strikes beyond the state law enforcement agencies to contain. (Or, obviously, terrorist attack a la Bush Jr, or invasion - which I suppose is why the national DT keeps trying to inflate the threat of unarmed foreigners. ) In any of those cases, the president would still require armed forces and their commanders to be loyal to him personally. I'm not at all sure he's confident of their compliance.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby kidjan on January 16th, 2019, 12:13 am 

-1- » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:23 am wrote:True, but wasn't his presidency mainly decided by a majority support (questionable, but still) of his agenda to build the wall? This issue: popular support and campaign promise of the very act, was a not a part of the case precedent with Truman. Can argue that the People voted him in on the promise of the wall.


Three problems with that:

  1. He lost the popular vote, so this argument isn't particularly compelling. But even if we take into account the electoral college as a proxy for popular support,
  2. It doesn't matter if he won the election with 98% of the popular vote and 100% of the electoral vote; the Constitution does not expressly grant the president additional powers in times of national emergency. Congress grants those powers.
  3. If Congress is unwilling to grant the funds or clearly expressed powers, that is also the electorate expressing their legislative will. A president's constitutional power is to execute, not legislate. Legislation is necessarily tied to a congressional mandate, not an executive one. And that congressional mandate does not include $5.6B for a wall whether Trump likes it or not.

So the question really isn't "is he popular enough to take this action." That isn't how our government works; that's how a backwater African dictatorship works. The question is whether or not the executive action is legitimate enough to survive a legal challenge. Because undoubtably, a use of these executive powers will be challenged.

And the historic precedent here isn't great. Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War--the SC ruled that unconstitutional, which Lincoln ignored and contemplated jailing the chief justice. FDR interned Japanese Americans during WW2; the SC ruled this an appropriate use of his congressionally granted emergency powers. That decision is widely regarded as being horribly wrong. Truman, as mentioned, was shut down, and probably appropriately so.

So to be honest... it's a crapshoot. The American people elected a demonstrable liar/demagogue to the oval office, and I'm sorry to admit the will of the people must be respected, consequences be damned. And that consequence will be: a fairly clear abuse of congressionally granted executive power by a sitting president, which will only be checked by a supreme court challenge. It's unclear to me how our current court would rule.

In effect, I don't know if Reagan invoked a national emergency or the "essential service" act, but I do believe he did that without the support of the House or the Congress.


Current support of Congress is irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is A) what powers congress has legislatively granted and B) whether or not those will hold water when challenged by the judicial branch and C) whether or not the president will acknowledge the supreme court's decision (final point compliments of Lincoln, who admittedly was dealing with the Civil War and I think his decision was ultimately correct).
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on January 27th, 2019, 11:29 am 

https://constitutioncenter.org/debate/p ... d-the-wall

The above is an audio podcast of a discussion between distinguished professors of law from Harvard University and The University of Virginia that may dispel the confusion in the minds of many on this forum.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Serpent on January 27th, 2019, 11:53 am 

I didn't read to the end, because the first four remarks created more confusion.
Neither of them would say Yea or Nay to anything!
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby TheVat on January 27th, 2019, 12:38 pm 

I believe a clear direction comes from how an emergency is defined. Since the rate of illegal immigration has dropped greatly in the last decade, then how could it not have been an emergency ten years ago but is now? This fails basic logic. Add to this that poll aggregators like 538 find the American electorate, by around a 70% majority, does not consider a border wall to be a priority now, and its clear that our duly elected representatives must appropriate funds towards those needs that are a priority. And, as the Originalists point out, the president is obligated to heed the wishes of the people. A majority do favor beefed up security at ports of entry (where most illegal crossing happens), more immigration court funding to remove the two year backlog, and other practical measures. It is the constitutional duty of Congress and the president to implement that. Since the framers defined emergency as something that is a threat to the existence of the nation, it would not appear we have such a state of affairs (outside of the Oval office anyway).
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Serpent on January 27th, 2019, 12:46 pm 

I also don't hear it mentioned very loudly that this would only be a down payment on the original estimated (not by Trump; by people who can do math) cost of the entire project. Unless it's been scaled down considerably - I don't know what the current design is... slats, fence, barrier, whatever you want to call it. He'd have to come back three more times - three more "emergencies"?. And doesn't have three more years in office, so the great wall would never be completed and the emergency would never end. According to the act, he has to put a time limit on his declaration - and he can't.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on February 28th, 2019, 10:38 pm 

Toucana,

In the National Emergencies Act of 1976 (50 U.S.C sec.1601-1651) the US Congress conferred upon the office of the president broad powers to declare national emergencies. The only limitations provided under the Act are that the president must (1) specify the provisions of federal law allowing funds to be used in cases of emergency and (2) that he must notify Congress.

Congress has the constitutional power to limit or rescind any emergency declared by the president, but it must do so by a joint resolution enacted by a majority of both houses of congress. However, the president will in such case have the power to veto such a resolution, and his veto may be overridden only by a two-thirds majority of both the Senate and the House.

Accordingly, it is not at all the case that the congress has not conferred upon President Trump, or any other president for that matter, the power to declare emergencies; for they did precisely that in 1976. In fact, since 1976 no less than thirty- one national emergencies have been declared by various presidents.

Because the Republicans control the Senate, it is unlikely that such a joint resolution will be enacted, especially since the president retains the power of the veto
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby charon on March 1st, 2019, 4:56 am 

Surely the point is that sensible presidents declare national emergencies when there is one - a freak of nature, civil unrest, things like that.

What's apparently happening here is that Trump is stamping his foot because he can't get his own way. I'd say that was, if not an abuse of the power, certainly a misuse of it.

But, as I understand it, it has to pass Congress so the outcome remains to be seen.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby TheVat on March 1st, 2019, 10:42 am 

Neri, this also relates to the separation of powers. It is Congress that appropriates finds, not the executive branch. Money that was appropriated for military housing (one of the proposals) cannot be then rerouted to a border fence. This would violate the most fundamental principle of our democracy, to let a frivolous and autocratic redefinition of "emergency" be used to usurp Congress. Even leading Conservatives are concerned about this. What if the next President declares global warming an emergency and decides to shift a big chunk of military spending towards Green infrastructure? How about the tens of thousands of Americans who commit suicide every year, a rate that's steadily rising?
Emergency? Go around Congress? You still down with that? Emergency is whatever the POTUS says it is? You may wish to look at cases like Youngstown Sheet, where an absolutist view of presidential power was rejected.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on March 1st, 2019, 11:34 am 

The Vat,

The Act of 1976 appears to confer upon the president the sole discretion to decide what an emergency is. If two-thirds of the Congress believe the president has abused that discretion, they may rescind any emergency he declares. So far the US Supreme Court has only struck down a presidential declaration that involved the governmental confiscation of a whole industry. Otherwise, the Court has not been disposed to second-guess the president.

However, like other governmental institutions, the federal courts have become highly politicized. So much so, that in many cases, the outcome will be determined by the composition of the court. A peculiar procedural rule of the Supreme Court allows the decision of a circuit court (whose jurisdiction is limited by its geographical extent) to be binding nationwide. This has resulted in flagrant judge shopping.

Thus, opponents of the president tend to file actions against him in liberal juristictions such as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It is truly shameful that the Supreme Court allows such blatant judge shopping. The Chief Justice tells us “there are no liberal or conservative judges, only judges.” However, one would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to believe it.

No matter how much the Chief Justice may deny it, the Supreme Court has become highly politicized. This is the sad reality.

In recent cases, the Chief Justice, a Bush appointee, has voted with the Democrats, even when he disagrees with their reasoning, in the vain hope that the people will believe that the Court is not politicized. Ironically, this gives the Chief Justice a kind of political agenda of his own making.

Therefore, it is my belief that the Ninth Circuit, because it is quite left leaning, will hold that the president’s declaration regarding border security is not an emergency because it does not require immediate attention.

When the Supreme Court takes up the matter, I believe that the liberals and conservatives will vote as expected but that the Chief Justice will cast the deciding vote against the president. Of course, if a liberal justice retires, is incapacitated or dies and is replaced by a conservative justice, the decision will almost certainly be in favor of the president.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby jocular on March 1st, 2019, 12:55 pm 

Could anyone appeal a ruling on the basis that the particular court was chosen for political reasons?

That there were other locations where the case could have been held but that particular court had been chosen for obvious reasons...
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby charon on March 1st, 2019, 1:02 pm 

Definition of emergency:

1 : an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emergency

It's not unforeseen so it's not an emergency. QED :-)
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on March 1st, 2019, 1:20 pm 

The Vat,

To address a particular point that you raised, it cannot be considered a violation of separation of powers if the congress itself past laws that authorize the use of certain funds where the president has declared an emergency. The Act of 1976 only requires that the president specify the provisions of federal law that allow funds to be used in such cases. No act of congress actually defines an emergency but instead leaves that to the discretion of the president.
Last edited by Neri on March 1st, 2019, 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on March 1st, 2019, 1:42 pm 

Jocular and Charon,

Federal law does not permit an appeal from a circuit court decision on the grounds that it was politically motivated absent clear and convincing evidence of judicial misconduct.

Everyone knows the meaning of the word “emergency.” The question is: What specific facts and circumstances amount to an emergency? The congress has not told us what those facts and circumstances may be but has instead left that to the discretion of the president, subject to invalidation by a two-thirds majority of the Congress. Thus far, the Supreme Court has only struck down a presidential declaration of emergency where it involved governmental confiscation of a whole industry.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby PaulN on March 1st, 2019, 1:51 pm 

So far the US Supreme Court has only struck down a presidential declaration that involved the governmental confiscation of a whole industry. Otherwise, the Court has not been disposed to second-guess the president.


Don't you think now might be the time to do some more "second guessing" ? Where is the emergency? Why would rejecting this absurd categorization have to be some sort of partisan activism? Several posters have pointed out that this is neither crisis nor emergency, and offered supporting facts that, in fact, illegal border crossings are at a ten year low, and that almost all drug smuggling is at legal ports of entry on the southern border. The President is not a dictator, he is elected to represent the will of the people. Not just his own will. Since the majority of Americans do not view this as an emergency (being rational human beings who are responsive to facts), how can you really justify such a declaration. What "statute" would justify taking money already appropriated and spending it on a vanity project that only Trump's remaining hardcore base supports (mostly because they believe everything he tells them, and refuse to look at all countervailing evidence)??

Where did the 1976 Act say that the president can reroute already appropriated funds when this clearly contradicts the will of Congress and the people, and has no basis in an actual state of affairs (like an actual emergency). That you could make legal nitpicky arguments for this idiocy does not speak well for your ostensibly nonpartisan posture.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby charon on March 1st, 2019, 2:43 pm 

Neri -

Everyone knows the meaning of the word “emergency.” The question is: What specific facts and circumstances amount to an emergency?


People crossing the Mexico/US border has been going on since the year dot. The only 'emergency' is Trump not getting money to build his dream wall. That's all.

You know very well what a real emergency is - hurricane, fires, floods, earthquake, terrorist attack, you name it. Those are emergencies, not Trump's bloody wall!

And if he's dumb enough to think the Mexicans won't simply find another way into the US then he must be in la-la-land. There's already a vast network of tunnels under the border to smuggle drugs across. That's another reason it's not an emergency.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on March 1st, 2019, 3:56 pm 

PaulN,

Under federal law it is the prerogative of the president and not posters on this forum to determine what facts are indicative of a national emergency.

What many call “facts” are really arguments from ignorance.

For example, we hear that illegal border crossings are at a ten year low.

Actually, what we know is that the number of persons apprehended attempting to cross the border is at a ten year low.

We have no way of knowing what the actual number of such crossings may be, for border officers cannot be at all points along the border all of the time.

Therefore, our ignorance in this regard cannot properly be considered evidence that there has been an actual decline of illegal border crossings. It may be an indication only that border security has been stretched too thin.

Similarly, we hear that most illegal drugs pass through ports of entry. Actually, what we know is that more drugs are confiscated at ports of entry than along the vast areas without border fencing.

We have no way of knowing the actual amount of drugs that pass through these open areas. In fact, we do not even know the amount of drugs that pass undetected through ports of entry.

Common sense would dictate, however, that a truckload of drugs will more easily pass undetected through open country in the middle of the night than through a port of entry manned by security personnel with drug-sniffing dogs.

Clearly, we cannot properly conclude that our ignorance of the amount of illegal drugs entering through open border areas justifies the conclusion that it is less than the amount confiscated at ports of entry.

What we do know is that there has been an enormous increase in the amount of Mexican-produced drugs on the US illegal market as well as an enormous increase over previous years in the number of American deaths caused by drug overdoses. Many have described this condition as a drug epidemic.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby TheVat on March 1st, 2019, 4:14 pm 

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/0 ... itutional/

I don't know Paul's sources on border crossing, but I've seen pretty solid data from the border patrol, using reliable sampling methods. And if you question that data, then positing that we lack solid figures and are in ignorance....erm, should we be forcing policies on the basis of ignorance? And let the POTUS seize a power of monetary allocation not given to him in the Constitution? That argument would seem to cut both ways and call for better data, not an enormous fence which even ICE veterans say would not be effective especially in stopping drugs. If saving lives is your criterion for an emergency, why aren't we demanding the declaration of a national suicide emergency or a national firearm death emergency or a national air quality emergency? I notice you have not responded to this point earlier.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on March 1st, 2019, 6:14 pm 

The Vat,

The president believes that the enormous increase in the amount of drugs in this country that originate in Mexico is indicative of far more extensive and pervasive drug smuggling from Mexico than has been seen in previous years. By his lights, the current rise in drug overdoses causing tens of thousands American deaths each year is a national emergency.

The president has never claimed that a border barrier will stop all illegal drugs from entering the US. Instead he relies on the opinion of ICE that such a barrier will substantially reduce the flow of Mexican drugs into this country by enhancing the probability of arrest and confiscation and by generally making it far more difficult for the smuggler.

The president further believes that the “caravans” of thousands of Central American emigrants prepared to crash the US border by force of numbers if necessary is a national emergency. According, he found it necessary to call up the military to help prevent such a forcible entry into our land.

There is no doubt that we have considerable crime in this country, but the president believes that we do not need any more. Who can reasonably say otherwise?

Obviously, if any person wishes to enter this country legally with a view to making it his home, he will need to supply proof that he has no criminal record. The president has said repeatedly that he actually wants to increase this type of immigration. However, he thinks it a danger to Americans for people to enter this country without the US government knowing whether or not they have criminal records.

The president says that ICE has informed him that there has been a rapid increase in Latin American gangs such as MS13--that engage in murder, rape, dismemberment and other unspeakable crimes--as a result of insufficient border security. They have further informed the president that so-called sanctuary cities have made the problem far worse by sheltering violent criminal from deportation by refusing to notify ICE when they are released from prison after conviction of violent crimes. The president believes that this contributes to the emergency.

The president believes all this. The congress itself that has given him the power to exercise his discretion in such matters, and the president has done so.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby TheVat on March 1st, 2019, 7:42 pm 

Aside from all the nonsense the president believes, there is zero evidence that new fencing will help, and tons of evidence that better technology and more staffing at legal checkpoints will. As will drug treatment programs and mental health outreach that deals with the actual problem: the consumer. Trump cares nothing for these realities, he just wants to flex his muscle.


But none of this is germane to your final sentence which is false. Neither Congress nor we who elected them has given the president the right to violate the separation of powers and allocate already allocated funds. Did you read the link I posted? (later edit: it appears he did not)

Checks and balances. Either you grasp that the president is answerable to the people and congress or you don't. It is important to understand the checks against tyranny and dictatorship that our founders placed in the Constitution, and addressed carefully in the Federalist papers.

As for "unspeakable crimes," this is a far Right talking point shot down in other threads. The rate of heinous crimes of violence is far higher among native born Americans than among immigrants. Most people on our southern border are fleeing gangs, not promoting them. Gang members who recruit vulnerable and poor immigrants are overwhelmingly native born.

Most border crossers are now families legally seeking asylum in the US. The real criminal in this picture is the president who spreads hatred and lies about these refugees, supports cruel treatment of them, supports policies harmful to children, and uses fear and xenophobia as a political tool to advance himself.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby Neri on March 2nd, 2019, 1:31 am 

TheVat,

You seem unable to comprehend the simple fact that when the congress grants certain powers to the president as they have done in the Act of 1976, the exercise of those powers by the president is in no way a violation of the separation of powers provision of the Constitution.

There is a bright-line distinction between a president usurping congressional powers and a president exercising powers actually granted to him by Congress. This is a distinction you should be able to comprehend. Unfortunately, the distinction has escaped you, even though I have repeated it often.

Your opinion that better technology and staffing will make a border barrier unnecessary is an opinion shared by neither the president nor ICE. They are certainly in a better position to determine whether a border barrier is necessary in addition to better technology and staffing.

Furthermore, it is the president’s opinion that is controlling and not the opinions of those who disagree with him. Of course, the people will make the final decision in the voting booth as to the wisdom or lack thereof of the president’s policies.

Speaking from my own experience of more than forty years in the criminal courts, I can say without hesitation that drug treatment programs have been singularly ineffective. It is far more effective to make addictive drugs difficult to acquire than to attempt a cure after a person becomes addicted. Unfortunately, certain drugs cause epigenetic changes in the brain that make it almost impossible to end the dependence on them.

I would say that murder, rape, torture and mutilation are heinous crimes. Any person with half a brain in his head would agree with this statement. These “unspeakable crimes” are exactly the types of offenses committed by Mexican drug cartels and violent Central American gangs such as MS13.

I think it is probably true that most illegal aliens are only looking for a better life. Yet we know that many are criminals seeking to victimize others, particularly other illegal aliens.

The trouble is, without the vetting that is part of the legal immigration process, we are unable to separate the wheat from the chaff. That is, when people enter the US illegally, we are unable to identify the criminals. Criminals are only a small part of the population of any nation, yet because of their hardness of heart and total lack of empathy for others, they are able to cause enormous violence, injury and misery to decent people.

Your comments contain a lot of ad hominem rubbish that merits no specific response. I would only remind you that comments of this low character are the last refuge of a scoundrel and say more about those who employ them than about those against whom they are directed.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby TheVat on March 2nd, 2019, 11:04 am 

The scoundrel here is not me, when you are the one posting lies and distortions. Your post is so thick with them, that i will just take one as an example. You say:

Your opinion that better technology and staffing will make a border barrier unnecessary is an opinion shared by neither the president nor ICE. They are certainly in a better position to determine whether a border barrier is necessary in addition to better technology and staffing.


Not my opinion. As has been known for some time, Congress committees have found Border Patrol agents show little regard for the wall idea. From the NYT last March...


WASHINGTON — President Trump has called for a wall along the border with Mexico to stop undocumented immigrants and drugs from entering the United States. But Border Patrol agents on the front lines say they need more technology and additional personnel to curb the illegal traffic, according to a report released on Thursday by Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

The report was based on internal Customs and Border Protection documents from the 2017 fiscal year. It concluded that less than one half of 1 percent of the agents’ suggestions to secure the Southwest border mentioned the need for a wall.

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the committee’s top Democrat, said the report reinforced what she had previously heard from border agents and leaders at Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the Border Patrol.

“We can’t let politics get in the way of our efforts to strengthen border security and protect our country,” said Ms. McCaskill, referring to Mr. Trump’s promises to build a border wall.


Woopsy. Maybe time to start fact checking your "simple facts?"

I also checked with several Constitutional scholars and found that your remarks on separation of powers and what powers Congress grants to the POTUS to be false. Your opening with the ad hominem "you seem unable to comprehend the simple fact" was also an odd contradiction of the stand you appear to take on "ad hominem rubbish" which you believe merits no response and reveals a scoundrel. Which would seem to clearly mark you as one yourself, given your definition.

Also, failure to reply to posted links, like mine earlier at the tenth amendment site, is considered a violation of forum rules here and may result in expulsion from the thread. You also ignored factual material posted by others here. You also posted long-debunked Far Right propaganda about the caravans, which by all objective observer reports consisted of refugees from gang violence and government persecution in places like Honduras and El Salvador. When someone just starts posting so many false statements as factual, to the degree that others cannot keep up and correct them, this becomes trolling.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby TheVat on March 2nd, 2019, 11:25 am 

I would say that murder, rape, torture and mutilation are heinous crimes. Any person with half a brain in his head would agree with this statement. These “unspeakable crimes” are exactly the types of offenses committed by Mexican drug cartels and violent Central American gangs such as MS13.


Another example of propagandist distortion and appeal to emotion. Yes, who would not agree those are heinous crimes? Crimes committed largely by native born Americans. Funny how no one calls it a national emergency when it's in Detroit or Compton or South Bronx or Newark, done by hometown folks. I notice that you posted no stats on how many domestic crimes like this were actually committed by Central Americans, who entered the country by means of southern border jumping. Could that be because these lurid events are a minute fraction of the total? Could it be that over 99% of these heinous gang crimes are being committed by MS13 members in Honduras, not here? Could it be the vast bulk of the gang murders in the US are done by native borns? Oh, dear. Your propagandist approach and intellectual dishonesty are noted, again.
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Re: Can President Trump Declare a National Emergency ?

Postby charon on March 2nd, 2019, 2:56 pm 

Neri -

The president believes
The president further believes
The president believes
The president has said
The president says
The president believes
The president believes all this


With all due respect, are you brainwashed? Is this Trump or Jesus we're discussing?
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