As a guest this morning on the John Catsimatidis’ radio show in New York, attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz called Donald Trump’s emergency declaration a “mistake” and a usurpation of the power of Congress.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 17, 2019
The nationally prominent lawyer, who in the past has been very supportive of the president, offered a very blunt opinion of Trump’s move to illegally take money for his border wall from other sources, saying:
“My own view is that it was a mistake to do it. I think emergencies are things that happened suddenly. The problems with immigration are long term.”
“The Constitution requires that all spending bills originate in the House of Representatives. This is a way of circumventing that provision of the Constitution.”
Dershowitz then predicted that Trump’s move will likely end up in court where it will likely not receive favorable treatment. He said the administration will definitely end up in court:
“There will be a lawsuit. No doubt about it. It will be tied up in the courts for a long time.”
“Ultimately, the Supreme Court will have to decide. And it’s unclear how the court will decide because it’s a new Supreme Court.”
Dershowitz, who has been an informal Trump adviser for years, is right on all counts. We have a Supreme Court with new members, so it’s not clear how it will rule on the constitutional issues that Trump’s national emergency declaration has raised.
The Harvard law professor is also obviously correct when he says that Trump’s move is “a usurpation of the power of Congress.” In fact, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent Trump a letter demanding testimony from the White House counsel and Justice Department officials over the declaration. They said that Trump’s move violates the constitutional separation of powers. They also said that Congress sets the government’s budget and how federal money is to be spent.
Trump officially declared a national emergency on Friday, taking $8.1 billion dollars from other sources. He also signed a spending bill to keep the government open. That bill gave Trump $1.375 billion for adding barriers to another 55 miles of the border.
Immediately after the president’s actions the administration was “flooded with lawsuits” as various progressive groups, states, and the ACLU all announced they were suing the federal government over the illegal emergency declaration. As these lawsuits progress through the courts there is no question that Dershowitz‘s predictions will prove true.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.