So, is there a national emergency or no? The president says yes. Congress says no. Here’s the dirty little secret – no matter how things turn out with the “border emergency,” there are still plenty more where that came from.
It’s important to note here that the president doesn’t have the power to declare a national emergency. And no, the National Emergencies Act didn’t give him that power – not under the Constitution. The power wasn’t Congress’s to give. And even if Congress had the authority to broadly declare a national emergency, it wouldn’t have the authority to transfer that power to the executive branch. More on that HERE.

At any rate, if you’re concerned about the possibility of not having an emergency due to congressional stonewalling don’t you worry. There are still plenty of emergencies for the government to attend to.

Thirty-one to be precise.

I kid you not. There are 31 national emergencies in effect, right at this very moment. That’s not including the 2019 build the wall crisis.

For instance, Jimmy Carter declared a national emergency in response to the Iran hostage crisis. That went into effect on Nov. 14, 1979. Forty years later, it’s still in effect. In case you’ve forgotten, the hostages were released in 1981.

Now, you might think some absent-minded bureaucrat forgot to end the national emergency when the hostages came home. Nope. These things have to be renewed every year. So, why is this one still in effect? I’m sure the government could give you a good reason. And by good, I mean dumb. But I’m going to guess that it has something to do with giving some government entity (like the executive branch) some kind of unconstitutional power it shouldn’t have ever had in the first place. You can call me cynical, but you know I’m not wrong.

Here’s my favorite ongoing national emergency courtesy of George W. Bush. He declared a national emergency “With Respect to Export Control Regulations.” This renewed presidential power to control exports during a national emergency after the Export Administration Act of 1979 lapsed. So, in essence, Bush declared an emergency so that he could control exports in the event of an emergency.

The bottom line is that it shouldn’t escape you that there is ALWAYS some kind of emergency. (Or 31. Or 32, depending on how you count Trump’s emergency.)

Here’s the truth. All of this is a power grab. When the president declares an emergency, it “streamlines government.” In other words. it strips away the embedded checks on power. It should also not escape your attention that emergencies don’t ever seem to go away. So, the resulting shift in power stays in place.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest this is not a good thing if you really value liberty.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

LEARN MORE

01

Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles

02

Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog

03

State of the Nullification Movement

108 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report

01

Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty

02

Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today

TENTHER ESSENTIALS

Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!

JOIN TAC

01

The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment

03

Nullification

Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.

nullification