There is a lot of talk regarding the likelihood that Trump will set a bad precedent with an emergency declaration.
are plenty of reasons to support or oppose Trump’s move to declare a national
emergency, but I have no interest in discussing those when one of the main
reasons given over the past few weeks is that such a move will set a bad
be completely honest, I think it’s an idiotic argument.
- It ASSUMES that the democrats will respect a good faith effort to obey the limitation.
- It concedes that congress is no longer the predominant branch of government.
there was discussion about the filibuster and the various nuclear options that have been implemented
or proposed, the argument typically devolved into the compulsion to defend it
out of an arbitrary attachment to bylaws that have no basis in the
constitution. This is particularly
stupid when the bylaws can change depending on who is in power. And people will
scream about tradition and why we need it to stop bad policy, but the practice
and the history of it is arbitrary anyway.
Why not require seventy votes in the Senate? Why not require unanimity? Why sixty instead
of fifty-nine? Since nothing besides tradition and utility support it, who is
to say that democrats will not see greater utility in getting rid of it?
bad precedent argument is dependent upon the future intentions of those in
power IN THE FUTURE, not the good intentions of those currently in power. If the power to declare an emergency is on
such shaky ground, then bad precedent by Trump will be meaningless. As Justice Thomas explains with regard to
case law, if you connect a bunch of train cars together and the first one is
not connected properly to the locomotive, it doesn’t matter how many additional
cars you attach, it’s still not connected.
if there is the power to declare emergencies like this, then no amount of
self-control from Trump will prevent a future president from using that
this gets us to the last point. All of this is a direct result of congress
subjugating itself to the will and convenience of the executive. I have
written before regarding congress’ repeated neglect of the Framer’s vision for
law making. If congress were to pass
small bills on single issues, the executive would not have the leeway to act in
such a way. Not only that, but congress
gave the president the ability to declare emergencies and it may constrain that
power because they have the purse. If
congress doesn’t like it, congress may change the law.
you spend your time ranting about how Trump is setting a bad precedent, you
might want to look at congress.
you will see is a dejected entity that has forgotten it’s preeminent role in
the federal government. This dejection
is the bad precedent we should be concerned about. Let’s assume that the president can’t declare
an emergency, opposing such a move requires congressional fortitude. We saw what congressional republicans did as
the minority party and as the majority party with a royal pain in the butt
executive. They swore up and down that
they would stop Obama’s constitutionally suspect policies. We gave them a house majority and a senate
majority after multiple elections and they did nothing! Do you honestly think that such a congress
would dare stop President Kamala Harris?
when the democrats control every branch of government, does it really matter
whether a policy is constitutionally permitted or not?