January 28, 2019

What President Trump’s Invocation of a National Emergency Could Mean for Our Constitutional Order


Although President Trump announced a temporary end to the government shutdown on January 25, he continues to threaten a national emergency declaration. What are the legal and policy implications of such an emergency order?

Listen to a recent ACS expert briefing call on the legal implications of such an emergency order.

The president argues that there is an immigration crisis at the southern border that authorizes him to fund and build a wall, despite the lack of congressional approval. Recently, ACS brought experts together to discuss what it could mean for our constitutional order if the President declares a national emergency.

In our briefing call, Professor Cristina Rodriguez of Yale Law School and Professor Stephen I. Vladeck of University of Texas School of Law answered these pressing questions:

  • What is the controlling law regarding the declaration of national emergencies?
  • What is the scope of the president’s emergency powers?
  • Do the laws depend on whether there really is an emergency, and if so, who determines that?
  • What is the mechanism by which such a wall could be built?
  • What legal limitations apply to the mechanism?

Listen to the briefing call here for answers to these questions and more.