“I Didn’t Need to Do This”: Trump Uses Emergency Declaration Speech to Make Case Against Himself

Merriam-Webster defines an emergency as an “unforeseen” event that requires “immediate action.”

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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President Donald Trump used the speech announcing his decision to invoke emergency powers to fund border wall construction to strengthen the legal arguments against that decision. “I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said Friday about the emergency declaration, “but I’d rather do it much faster.”

Trump’s remarks seem almost certain to appear in a lawsuit challenging his decision to use emergency powers to access the wall money that Congress has refused to provide. They were certainly appreciated by Omar Jadwat, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project:

George Conway, the husband of White House senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and a vocal Trump critic, also highlighted Trump’s claim:

Trump also said, “I made a deal…but I’m not happy with it,” making clear that he sees the emergency declaration as a way to get around Congress. Jadwat tweeted that admission as well.  

Trump predicted that his administration will be sued in the progressive Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and potentially get two unfavorable rulings from lower courts before the case reaches the Supreme Court. Trump is hopeful that the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold his emergency declaration like it did with his travel ban. Presidents have expansive emergency powers and there is reason to believe the Supreme Court will defer to Trump.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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