National Security, Climate Change, and Emergency Declarations

Trump finally pulled the trigger today and declared a national emergency so he can build his wall. But if illegal border crossings are a national emergency, then there’s a strong case for viewing climate change in similar terms. That point has been made by observers ranging from Marco Rubio to Legal Planet’s own Jonathan Zasloff in a post last week.  I agree but I want to dig deeper because it’s such an important point. In order to uphold Trump’s emergency declaration, the Supreme Court will have to either rule that the definition of emergency is exceedingly broad or that courts have little or no power to scrutinize a presidential declaration. There is a genuine legal basis for calling climate change a national emergency, as opposed to Trump’s ridiculous border-security declaration. If it upholds Trump’s declaration, it would be extremely hard for the Supreme Court to overturn a climate change declaration.  One reason is that…

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