Can the President Declare a National Emergency to Build the Wall?
President Trump and congressional Democrats remain at an impasse over a White House proposal to fund the construction of a southern border wall. The president has said that if Congress decides not to appropriate the funds, then he will “probably” declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build the wall. On this episode of We the People, we ask: what would happen if the president decided to declare a national emergency and divert military funds to build the wall? What statutes could he rely on? And would such an action be constitutional? Host Jeffrey Rosen and constitutional law experts Mark Tushnet of Harvard Law and Sai Prakash of University of Virginia Law explore the constitutional clauses, cases, and laws at issue in this hotly contested debate, including the Take Care, Appropriations, and Takings Clauses of the Constitution, the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer case, and the National Emergencies Act of 1976 and related statutes.
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