January 28, 2019

An Emergency Order for Border Security? Absolutely! Sign It!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 6:58 am

Trump-SignsLast Friday President Trump agreed with Congressional “leaders” to a three-week continuing resolution to restore government financial operations until February 15, 2019.  If on February 15th a Congressional conference committee has not agreed to the President’s demand that certain border security measures must be funded, the President has the option of once again shutting down non-essential government operations or declaring an emergency and using other means to fund border security.

To acquaint yourself with the President’s authority to fund certain projects under his authority granted by the US Constitution and the National Emergencies Act, you may want to read these two Congressional Research Service publications:

Can the Department of Defense Build the Border Wall?, published January 10, 2019, and

Military Construction Funding in the Event of a National Emergency, updated January 11, 2019

I don’t know too many people who really believe the Congressional conference committee will arrive at a recommended solution acceptable to both the President and the Pelosi-Schumer Mob.

If they do, then all sides can rightly claim victory.   But if they don’t, then the President clearly has the Constitutional and statutory authority to declare a national emergency.  Reportedly, as much as $13.3 billion has been found in the Defense Department budget that could be used to implement an emergency order.  That is preferable to once again shutting down parts of the federal government.

Regardless of the President’s clear Constitutional and statutory authority to declare an emergency, it is absolutely certain that any effort on his part to reallocate unspent previously-approved DoD funding would be challenged by Congress.  It seems equally likely that Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans probably have a hyper-politicized federal judge in the Ninth Circuit already lined up with pen locked and loaded to sign off on an order enjoining such a declaration.

It’s anyone’s guess whether the US Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts would even agree to hear President Trump’s appeal to lift the order, let alone arrive at a timely decision.

I hope that if President Trump is dissatisfied with the work product of the conference committee, he will very quickly sign the emergency declaration.  However, I also hope that he will listen diligently and primarily to the fund expenditure recommendations of the Customs and Border Protection and its parent, the Department of Homeland Security.  The employees of the Customs and Border Protection, not members of Congress and not the President, are the government employees who will have to live with the measures.  I’d prefer they live safely with them rather than die because of them or because of the arrogance and pride of elected officials.


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