“The national edifice is on fire. Every man who can carry a bucket of water, or remove a brick, is wanted.”

-Frederick Douglass, 1861


Some thoughts on Trump’s recent declaration of national emergency to build his border wall.


Climate of Emergency


To be clear, I don’t endorse declaring a national emergency simply to get around Congress’ power of the purse, regardless of reason. I think the precedent this sets threatens our very democracy. I also think that, while there is a good chance the Supreme Court will ultimately strike this move down, this is some not insignificant chance it will legally be allowed to stand. The statute in question provides wide latitude. Trump has been a test as to where our system breaks, and this is one of those breakpoints.