At The Federalist, Sean Davis outlines the legality of President Donald Trump’s emergency border wall declaration. Davis says arguments that the President’s order is illegal “mischaracterize or completely ignore existing federal emergency declarations and appropriations laws.” He writes:
A review of existing federal laws makes clear that President Donald Trump has clear statutory authority to build a border wall pursuant to a declaration of a national emergency.
Arguments to the contrary either mischaracterize or completely ignore existing federal emergency declarations and appropriations laws that delegate to the president temporary and limited authority to reprogram already appropriated funding toward the creation of a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Trump is operating within the bounds of a clearly defined and narrow delegation of authority within the realm of appropriations law. He has not conjured funding from thin air (the military construction and Army Corps funding has already been appropriated), nor is he using funds for purposes explicitly prohibited by Congress (to the contrary, Congress explicitly authorized the construction of a border wall).
A president who attempted to unilaterally levy taxes or confiscate lawfully owned property pursuant to some declaration would not be operating within the law, and Trump’s use of limited appropriations transfer authority will have no legal bearing on potential attempts by future presidents to exercise presidential authority outside the bounds of the law.
Read more here.
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