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#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:11 AM

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency
From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things.
This article appears in the January/February 2019 print edition with the headline "In Case of Emergency."
The Atlantic

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In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump reached deep into his arsenal to try to deliver votes to Republicans.

Most of his weapons were rhetorical, featuring a mix of lies and false inducements—claims that every congressional Democrat had signed on to an "open borders" bill (none had), that liberals were fomenting violent "mobs" (they weren't), that a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class would somehow pass while Congress was out of session (it didn't). But a few involved the aggressive use—and threatened misuse—of presidential authority: He sent thousands of active-duty soldiers to the southern border to terrorize a distant caravan of desperate Central American migrants, announced plans to end the constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship by executive order, and tweeted that law enforcement had been "strongly notified" to be on the lookout for "ILLEGAL VOTING."

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These measures failed to carry the day, and Trump will likely conclude that they were too timid. How much further might he go in 2020, when his own name is on the ballot—or sooner than that, if he's facing impeachment by a House under Democratic control?

More is at stake here than the outcome of one or even two elections. Trump has long signaled his disdain for the concepts of limited presidential power and democratic rule. During his 2016 campaign, he praised murderous dictators. He declared that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, would be in jail if he were president, goading crowds into frenzied chants of "Lock her up." He hinted that he might not accept an electoral loss. As democracies around the world slide into autocracy, and nationalism and antidemocratic sentiment are on vivid display among segments of the American populace, Trump's evident hostility to key elements of liberal democracy cannot be dismissed as mere bluster.

The moment the president declares a "national emergency"—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority.


It would be nice to think that America is protected from the worst excesses of Trump's impulses by its democratic laws and institutions. After all, Trump can do only so much without bumping up against the limits set by the Constitution and Congress and enforced by the courts. Those who see Trump as a threat to democracy comfort themselves with the belief that these limits will hold him in check.

But will they? Unknown to most Americans, a parallel legal regime allows the president to sidestep many of the constraints that normally apply. The moment the president declares a "national emergency"—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—more than 100 special provisions become available to him. While many of these tee up reasonable responses to genuine emergencies, some appear dangerously suited to a leader bent on amassing or retaining power. For instance, the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans' bank accounts. Other powers are available even without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.

This edifice of extraordinary powers has historically rested on the assumption that the president will act in the country's best interest when using them. With a handful of noteworthy exceptions, this assumption has held up. But what if a president, backed into a corner and facing electoral defeat or impeachment, were to declare an emergency for the sake of holding on to power? In that scenario, our laws and institutions might not save us from a presidential power grab. They might be what takes us down.

1. "A LOADED WEAPON"

The premise underlying emergency powers is simple: The government's ordinary powers might be insufficient in a crisis, and amending the law to provide greater ones might be too slow and cumbersome. Emergency powers are meant to give the government a temporary boost until the emergency passes or there is time to change the law through normal legislative processes.

Unlike the modern constitutions of many other countries, which specify when and how a state of emergency may be declared and which rights may be suspended, the U.S. Constitution itself includes no comprehensive separate regime for emergencies. Those few powers it does contain for dealing with certain urgent threats, it assigns to Congress, not the president. For instance, it lets Congress suspend the writ of habeas corpus—that is, allow government officials to imprison people without judicial review—"when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" and "provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions."

Nonetheless, some legal scholars believe that the Constitution gives the president inherent emergency powers by making him commander in chief of the armed forces, or by vesting in him a broad, undefined "executive Power." At key points in American history, presidents have cited inherent constitutional powers when taking drastic actions that were not authorized—or, in some cases, were explicitly prohibited—by Congress. Notorious examples include Franklin D. Roosevelt's internment of U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese descent during World War II and George W. Bush's programs of warrantless wiretapping and torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Abraham Lincoln conceded that his unilateral suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War was constitutionally questionable, but defended it as necessary to preserve the Union.

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#2 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:49 AM

Wow.

I admit I didn't finish reading it. Didn't even finish the excerpt posted here. The idiot author (Elizabeth Goitein) tipped her hand early on with the astonishingly dishonest "...that liberals were fomenting violent "mobs" (they weren't)..." (With my standard caveat concerning the monumental difference between "liberals" and "leftists") Has she never heard of Antifa?? Never heard Maxine Waters calling for violence against Trump supporters?? Never heard of BLM?? Etc etc etc??

At that point I knew the author was either a shameless liar or a clueless idiot, but I kept reading. And sure enough she kept writing pure bullsh*t, like how troops were sent to the border to "terrorize" the illegal "migrants", Trump's "disdain for the concepts of limited presidential power and democratic rule", and so forth.

I just couldn't force myself to keep reading such swill.

<_<
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#3 User is offline   USNJIMRET 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:37 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 11 January 2019 - 10:49 AM, said:

Wow.

I admit I didn't finish reading it. Didn't even finish the excerpt posted here. The idiot author (Elizabeth Goitein) tipped her hand early on with the astonishingly dishonest "...that liberals were fomenting violent "mobs" (they weren't)..." (With my standard caveat concerning the monumental difference between "liberals" and "leftists") Has she never heard of Antifa?? Never heard Maxine Waters calling for violence against Trump supporters?? Never heard of BLM?? Etc etc etc??

At that point I knew the author was either a shameless liar or a clueless idiot, but I kept reading. And sure enough she kept writing pure bullsh*t, like how troops were sent to the border to "terrorize" the illegal "migrants", Trump's "disdain for the concepts of limited presidential power and democratic rule", and so forth.

I just couldn't force myself to keep reading such swill.

http://www.rightnation.us/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/dry.gif



Well dude, you got further then I did!!
I quit after the " terrorize a distant caravan of desperate Central American migrants" line.
As others have noted, to some people, there's not a damn thing that President Trump can do that would please the left.
Hell, he could have a heart attack and die, on live TV, and the left would bitch that the event interrupted some banal romcom on the tube.
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#4 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:02 PM

View PostUSNJIMRET, on 11 January 2019 - 11:37 AM, said:

Well dude, you got further then I did!!
I quit after the " terrorize a distant caravan of desperate Central American migrants" line.
As others have noted, to some people, there's not a damn thing that President Trump can do that would please the left.
Hell, he could have a heart attack and die, on live TV, and the left would bitch that the event interrupted some banal romcom on the tube.


:yes:
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