February 15, 2019

President Trump’s Fantasy Emergency to Build a Border Wall Violates the Separation of Powers

Washington, D.C. — President Trump today declared a national emergency in an attempt to secure funding for his border wall. ACS President Caroline Fredrickson issued the following statement in response:

“The real emergency President Trump is trying to address today is the one imperiling his presidency. The President is in legal dire straits so he manufactured a fantasy crisis to draw our attention elsewhere. But his formal declaration of an emergency in order to build his wall does raise serious concerns about the separation of powers even for an administration already known for playing fast and loose with the law.

“Congress controls the country’s purse strings. Anyone who professes any reverence to the U.S. Constitution should know that. The President’s use of emergency powers in an unwarranted situation, simply to redirect money to a pet project, flies in the face of that fundamental constitutional principle. It is an end run around a Congress that rejected his wall, even when the GOP was in full control, and all members of the legislative branch should be outraged.

“President Trump’s border wall was never anything more than a campaign slogan designed to prey upon peoples’ fears. It was never going to be built and Mexico was never going to pay for it. But with his back against the wall, we have seen yet again how far this lawless President will go to save face.”

Contact: William Lutz at media@acslaw.org

Founded in 2001, the American Constitution Society (ACS) is a leading progressive legal organization and network of attorneys, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers, and other concerned individuals, dedicated to making the law a force to improve people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter at @acslaw. You can also follow Caroline Fredrickson on Twitter @crfredrickson.