I used to laugh when my more progressive friends warned me that Trump wanted to turn America into a third-world banana republic. He’d never pull that off, I’d tell them. The Constitution will stop him. Members of Congress will stop him. The GOP will stop him. Now, I’m the one who is the fool. I’ve tried very hard to restrain myself from frantic pronouncements, but this national emergency declaration is the closest my friends have ever come to seeing their worst fears realized. Is there any other way to see it?
The notion that a president of the United States can simply circumvent the national legislature out of pique, declare something that has been going on for years as an “emergency,” and then implement policies our elected representatives did not vote for, allocate money for or in any other way authorize is totally antithetical to representative democracy and the checks and balances system. If Trump is correct constitutionally, which he isn’t, then what did the Founders create a Congress for in the first place? I’d like to think that the Supreme Court will call a stop to this nonsense in a 9-0 decision, as they did in 1974 when they forced the executive branch to turn over to Congress tapes of President Richard Nixon’s private conversations. Unfortunately, I’ve lost so much faith in conservatives’ ability to draw any red line against Trump that I find it easy to believe that the conservative majority of the court will go along with this, anyway. As a result, Congress will no longer matter. As a result, the Supreme Court will no longer matter, either.