The American Interest

The Wall: Moral and Good

President Donald Trump’s predecessors have circumvented Congress before on issues the legislative branch had tried to stop.  They have redirected resources appropriated by 0419-trifkovic-weblawmakers.  They have resorted to the same National Emergencies Act that Trump is invoking in order to build the Wall along the country’s southern border.  None of their actions triggered a reaction as immediate and as virulent, however, as Trump’s announcement on February 15.

The declaration was immediately attacked by Democrats and in the media as an abuse of presidential power that violated both the Constitution and the authority of Congress, a cynical move not warranted by events.  On February 22 House Democrats introduced a joint resolution, just one page long, which declares that the national emergency “is hereby terminated.”  Even if four Republicans subsequently support the resolution in the Senate, Trump will kill it with his first veto.

The courts present a more serious challenge.  Trump acknowledged that the administration expected to be sued, that it was prepared for “a bad ruling . . . and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court.”  Indeed, by the last week of February his decision had already drawn five lawsuits,...

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