Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu warned Donald Trump on Monday that the House of Representatives would likely sue him if he declares a fake national emergency to build his vanity wall on the southern border.
In an interview with MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews, Rep. Lieu said he believes the House would hit Trump with a lawsuit and force the president to make the case for his phony emergency to the Supreme Court.
“If he wants to reopen government, and then declare a national emergency, and then we have the courts battle it out, that’s something I can live,” Lieu said, confident that the courts would strike down any attempt by Trump to declare a national emergency for political purposes.
“You can’t just make up a national emergency and do something you couldn’t do normally,” he added.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) January 8, 2019
When Matthews asked what Democrats would do if Trump declared a fake national emergency, Lieu said:
I believe the House of Representatives would sue. … It is really Republican senators that are just as at fault as the president is in having this unnecessary shutdown that’s harming a lot of Americans. … It could be (an impeachable offense). And the Supreme Court in 1953 struck down President Truman’s national emergency where he tried to seize our steel mills, saying you can’t just make up a national emergency and do something you couldn’t do normally, and we’re going to see tomorrow, the president maybe trying to get a face-saving way out so he can throw this into the courts. If he wants to reopen government, that’s great. And if he wants to reopen government, and then declare a national emergency, and then we have the courts battle it out, that’s something I can live with because we shouldn’t harming all these Americans as well as our national parks and people who are at risk of losing homes and not getting their tax refunds. … If his advisers told him this is illegal and he went ahead and did it, and then put our military personnel at risk of following an illegal order and committing federal crimes, that’s a pretty significant obligation of a president to protect military folks as well.
Trump’s national emergency is dead on arrival
Like Ted Lieu noted on Monday, a president doesn’t have the power to declare a fake national emergency just to get around Congress. That’s not how government works.
That’s particularly true given the fact that Democrats now control the House of Representatives. Unlike the previous Republican Congress, they aren’t about to let Trump behave like a third-world dictator.
If Donald Trump makes a desperate last-ditch effort to declare a fake national emergency to build his wall, Congress and the courts will be there to sink him almost immediately.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.