WTF do you need a border National Emergency Einstein?
If there were a hall of fame of legal self-owns, there would be a spot of honor for a line Friday from President Donald Trump as he announced that he would declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
To do so, Trump plans in part to use the National Emergency Act of 1976, but he undercut his argument that it was an emergency at all.
“I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said from the Rose Garden, “but I’d rather do it much faster.”
The next sound was lawyers across the country frantically adding Trump’s words to lawsuits to stop the president’s action. “Whatever a national emergency may be, that’s not it,” Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal said. “That quote is going right in the lawsuit.”
And there was little doubt about how prominent it should be. “That’s plaintiffs’ Exhibit A,” said Elizabeth Goitein, a national security expert at the Brennan Center. “Consider putting this on page 1,” Supreme Court litigator Deepak Gupta tweeted to any lawyers crafting petitions.
“This quote should be the first sentence of the first paragraph of every complaint filed this afternoon,” said conservative appellate lawyer George Conway, the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.
And Omar Jadwat, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has called the emergency declaration an abuse of presidential power, tweeted: “keep talking mr president.”
Trump’s statement, directly contrary to his interests, isn’t necessarily a silver bullet for challengers. And it doesn’t mean that the federal courts ultimately will stop Trump from using his powers to shift about $6.7 billion from the Defense and Treasury departments for the project.
But it makes life tougher for the Justice Department lawyers……