Should the President have the power to declare a national emergency?
Yes: IF the claimed emergency pertains to Constitutional powers given to the President in the first place. And that’s the mother of all “IFs”.
The Constitution assigns to the President the powers of Commander-in-Chief. This means the President of the United States is head of the armed forces required to protect the country from attack.
Reasonable people (if they still exist) can debate whether President Trump’s proposed border wall will be effective in protecting the physical safety of citizens. The President has made a strong case for the border wall, over and over. It was the centerpiece of his two-year presidential campaign, and he won against all odds. His opposition on the Democratic side provides no reply other than “the wall is immoral” and President Trump will be in jail soon anyway, so it doesn’t matter. That’s hardly a convincing counter argument. Particularly given the fact that most of the Democratic opposition agreed with the President’s arguments a few short years ago, when Barack Obama was still President.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi insists that if President Trump may declare a national emergency to build a wall to prevent an illegal invasion of immigrants, that a future President Elizabeth Warren may declare a national emergency to confiscate guns. That’s absurd. In the latter case, President Elizabeth Warren would be defying the Second Amendment and acting against the laws of land — in fact, acting against the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights upon which the entire republic was founded. In President Trump’s case, he is acting on behalf of his Constitutionally-mandated role as Commander-in-Chief to ensure that existing immigration laws are properly enforced. President Trump is upholding the law, while the future Democratic President’s action threatened by Speaker Pelosi would be violating not only existing law, but the Constitution itself.
If it’s the Constitution you care about, then you want the President to be able to exercise his Constitutional authority to protect citizens against the initiation of physical force. Protecting the borders is the most basic and fundamental of Constitutional presidential tasks. And we know from repeated words and actions that the Constitution is the LAST thing on earth any of today’s Democrats like Nancy Pelosi care about. Her threat that a future Democratic President can and will openly disregard the Second Amendment (and maybe the First as well?) should send a chill down the spine of any American who still values his or her liberty — even a tiny bit.
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