The "national emergency" in the context of Constitutional Governance

This is not about walls, or about Trump.

This is about proper Constitutional Governance.

It is my well considered view that Trump’s action is blatantly unconstitutional and shows a complete disregard for the rule of law. I also believe that the courts will quickly put an end to it, up to and including the Supreme Court.

But again, turning away from walls and Trump in particular.

The three branches of government were never intended to be equal in power. While each is intended to have checks against the others, the founders very much intended that Congress would be supreme among the three branches. With one House directly elected by the people and the other House elected by the States (and later directly by the people), Congress is the branch closest and most accountable to the people at large. The President, on the other hand, was not originally intended to be elected by the people at all, but rather indirectly by the State legislatures, a setup that later morphed into today’s system.

Congress was intended to set the policies and priorities of the nation, with the President carrying those policies and priorities into effect. The President was intended to have primacy in a few areas, such as foreign affairs and the conduct of war.

But one power that by long principle belongs to legislatures everywhere is the power of the purse. The power to grant or deny to the executive funds.

Congress DENIED the President funding for the wall. In trying to use a national emergency to sidestep this, Trump is breaching the greatest check of the legislature on the executive, the power of the purse.

This cannot stand and when the courts act, they must strike this down and with the most blistering language possible.


Any attempt to breach the Congressional power of the purse should be regarded as a direct attack on the Constitution and the rule of law.

But I will go farther than this. President’s since Abraham Lincoln have been stretching the bounds of the Presidency ever farther. That includes all of the recent Presidents.

It is beyond time for Congress to retrench and regain its rightful role as the Supreme Branch of government and the setter of the nation’s policies and priorities. Enacting narrowly written legislation instead of broadly written legislation, including sunsets on all legislation and repealing legislation that authorizes national emergencies to be declared by the President would be a good start.

The Presidency has long been too powerful and it is beyond time to begin restraining the President’s powers.

The above link is to the United States Statutes at Large for June 4, 1794. It was an act permitting the President to lay embargoes. The act was self expiring, unless Congress renewed it and embargoes laid by the President automatically expired 2 weeks after Congress returned to session and the President could not unilaterally lay embargoes if Congress was in session. Congress kept a tight leash on the Presidency for the first few decades.

Today, open ended laws have granted modern Presidents FAR too much power. Beyond time to narrow these laws and reign in the President.

Most importantly, the power of the purse must be made inviolate.


Senators are none too happy that Trump thinks he can trump them.

You don’t want Donald Trump to Make America Great Again?

This is a phenomenal post Safiel. I could not agree more with you. The time has long since passed for Congress to reclaim its authority over the Executive. An authority they have been ceding for decades now.

And yes, the National Emergency declaration is absolutely an abuse of our Constitution. It is a plain as day power grab to circumvent the structure of our foundation. And the courts will rightfully shoot this ill-advised plan down with harsh condemnation.

Not a single person supporting this declaration can ever call themselves a Constitutionalist or a conservative again. This mad power grab exposes a great many for their blatant hypocrisy.


I think the same constitutionalists that rose up during the last administration (over things like Obama’s birth status, responsible national debt and healthcare passage) will rise up again. If they don’t they risk looking like they were just protesting the first minority president.


I disagree. For some reason Donald Trump and his propaganda has somehow changed them and their beliefs into something different from before. Not all of course.

Look at some of the so-called Constitutionalists on this very board claiming the NEA allows a POTUS unlimited power over the purse. It’s insane, in my opinion, to believe such nonsense, yet here we are.

@Safiel how do you stand on the argument that the POTUS has unlimited power over the purse when it comes to the NEA?

As much as I want this wall, I don’t want too much power in the hands of one branch of government that was never intended. I do not want a precedent for those whom I may politically disagree with to similarly apply this course of action in the future. I also hope that there is a pathway found to get this wall built…


So do you disagree with the National Emergency declaration? Because of the potential ramifications this could have down the road with someone in office you disagree with politically?

I want this action determined by a court other than the 9th Circuit to determine whether the President is with in the powers of the Executive Branch.

Okay. Why does it matter which Circuit hears the case? It’s going to end in the USSC regardless.

I’m interested in your opinion here. Do you agree or disagree with the declaration? Do you want the USSC to uphold it or shoot it down? Do you want the precedent established that a POTUS can declare monarchy-type power that is unchecked in the name of whatever they personally deem to be an emergency?

What I want is for there to be consistency going forward. What ever was lawful in the past, I want the same going forward. I don’t want the 9th judging this because IMO they’re way too political and I want “feelings” removed from this as much as possible. In some other court, again IMO, “we” have a greater chance of a neutral decision. It may very well be in support of the President with the explanation as to why it’s so. Then going forward, if the same legal criteria is met, that President in the future, will have the same power.

If California sues as they say they will, what Federal district and under what Circuit do you think California should file in?

(You know that the Circuits is defined geographically right and that California is in the 9th Circuit?)

I don’t see the problem as even if the Federal District rules and the 9th Circuit upholds, it would still go to the SCOTUS.

What are you worried about?

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What I’m saying to all is that if this is decided by the 9th and it’s against the President, emotions will rise until decided again by the SCOTUS and I don’t want that.

You went to great lengths to avoid answering the direct questions posed to you. Why?

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…cuz ur so deep? :sunglasses:

Lol what…?

That also avoids the questions. Why aren’t you willing to commit to a position here?

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I disagree…they were never those type of people…they were in name only because it annoys libz…

But yet your position that California shouldn’t file a suit in Federal Court which is determined by geography is based on emotion.

(Personally I don’t have an issue with a State filing within their circuit. Speaking non-emotionally, have multiple suits to put a check on the power grab by Trump. That way we are likely to get a split decision and then the SCOTUS wouldn’t be able to dodge it. Say 9th (California), 10th (Arizona), 5th (Texas), and DC circuits.)


Unless I’m going to commit myself, really research this and be confident in my decision, I will not attempt to answer such an important question, that would have incredible ramifications…with a half-ass thought.