Open Windows and Open Borders: A Lesson From The Founders On Conflict Resolution

Below is my column for the BBC on the controversy over President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration. Sixteen states, led by California’s Attorney General, are now suing. Others lawsuits have been filed on behalf of landowners and others. The lawsuits appear to challenge both the basis for an emergency declaration and the funding. I still expect Trump to prevail in the long-run if this goes to the Supreme Court. Ironically, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said this weekend that this controversy would be the “test” of his colleagues integrity and principles. Yet, Republicans could easily point out that Schiff never objected or took action when President Barack Obama circumvented Congress, including ordering the payment of potentially billions out of the Treasury after Congress refused to fund part of the Affordable Care Act. He was also silent when Obama not only refused to get authorization for the Libyan War but used undedicated funds to pay for it without an appropriation from Congress.

As this column discusses, there was at one time a much easier way to resolve the most bitter differences among political figures.

President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build his long-promised border wall was met with a torrent of condemnations and threats from Democratic critics, including preparation for another heated court fight.

American politics have not been so bitter and divided since Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were forced to share the same bed in 1776.

There is a fundamental incompatibility – if not mutual revulsion – that divides our politics and its focus has fittingly become a debate over a wall.

Does the reality at the border matter?

After securing only part of the funding that he sought, President Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border to allow him to start construction with over $8bn (£6.2bn) of shifted funds to complete his signature campaign promise. For their part, the Democrats are promising immediate court challenges.

There is little evidence of a true national security emergency on the US border with Mexico. Most illegal immigrants overstay their visas or pass through ports of entry. Moreover, the number of apprehensions are down from 1.6 million in 2000 to roughly 400,000 in each year of Trump’s term.

Chart: Apprehensions on the US-Mexico border were at their lowest in 2017 since 2000

That does not mean that border protection and enhanced enforcement is not warranted. Crossings do remain a serious problem, but few would call this a national emergency.Can Trump use emergency powers to build wall?

Yet, President Trump is calling this a national emergency and that may be enough. The reason is not the data but the definition behind a declared emergency.

What is a national emergency?

There is no real definition. Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, Congress simply allowed a president to declare an emergency and to assume extraordinary powers to combat it.

That is the reason why emergencies are so easy to declare and so difficult to end.

Chart: There are 31 ongoing national emergencies

While Congress reserved the right to rescind a declaration, it has never done so.

Even if the Democrats secure enough votes in both houses to negate the declaration by a majority vote, it can be vetoed by the president. It would then require a super-majority of two-thirds of both houses to override the veto.

The challenge for the Democrats is getting a federal court to supply the result that they could not secure in their own branch of government. If they are unable to secure a majority of the 535 members which make up both houses of Congress, they are unlikely to change the result with the single vote of an unelected federal judge.

‘Haze of Democratic hypocrisy’

There is also a problem for the Democrats in getting a judge to see the merits of their arguments through a thick haze of hypocrisy.

President Trump’s assertions of executive authority remain well short of the extremes reached by Barack Obama who openly and repeatedly circumvented Congress.

In one State of the Union address, Mr Obama chastised both houses for refusing to give him changes in immigration laws and other changes. He then declared his intention to get the same results by unilateral executive action.

That shocking pledge was met with a roar of approval from the Democrats – including Speaker Nancy Pelosi – who celebrated the notion of their own institutional irrelevancy.

In 2011, I represented Democratic and Republican members who challenged the right of President Obama (and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) to launch the Libyan war without a declaration from Congress.

Mr Obama then proceeded (like Mr Trump) to use loose funds in the executive branch to fund the entire war without an appropriation.

Ms Pelosi and the Democratic leadership enthusiastically supported Obama’s circumvention of Congress on both the lack of a declaration and the lack of an appropriation.

Will court ignore precedent?

The greatest hypocrisy is the authority that the Democrats intend to use in this challenge.

In 2016, I represented the House of Representatives in challenging one of Mr Obama’s unilateral actions, after he demanded funds to pay insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Every year, presidents must ask for appropriations of money to run the government – a critical check on executive authority held by the legislative branch.

Congress refused so Mr Obama simply ordered the Treasury would pay the companies as a permanent appropriation – even though Congress never approved an annual, let alone a permanent, appropriation.

Mr Obama did not declare an emergency, he just took the money. Nevertheless, Ms Pelosi and the Democratic leadership opposed the lawsuit and declared it a meritless attack on presidential authority. We won the lawsuit.

In addition to ruling that Mr Obama violated the Constitution, the federal district court in Washington, DC, ruled that a house of Congress does have standing to bring such a lawsuit – a precedent that Congress had sought to establish.

Now Democrats are going to use the precedent that they opposed under Mr Obama. However, they could end up not only losing the challenge but frittering away this historic precedent.

Where will the $8bn come from?

  • $1.4bn from the agreed budget
  • $600m from cash and assets seized from drug traffickers
  • $2.5bn from a defence department anti-drug trafficking fund
  • $3.5bn reallocated from military construction projects

Courts often turn to standing to avoid tough decisions. Since the Democrats are likely to try to litigate this question in the Ninth Circuit which covers California and some other western states, the judge will not be bound by the DC ruling and could rule against the right of Congress to bring such actions.

Moreover, the litigation to the Supreme Court could easily take two years. Once there, the challengers will face a newly minted conservative majority with two Trump appointees.

That would mean that the Democrats could hand Trump a major victory on his signature campaign issue just before voters go to the polls in 2020.

A different age

That brings us back to the night Franklin and Adams had to share a bed. The two founding fathers were going to meet Admiral Richard Howe of the British Royal Navy in Staten Island to discuss the possibility of ending the Revolutionary War.

They found themselves in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at the Indian Queen Tavern. However, it was full and only one room with one small bed was available.

Two of the most irascible framers of the US Constitution crawled into the small bed and immediately began to quarrel.

Franklin had opened up a window but Adams held the common view of the time that you could get ill from night vapours. Franklin insisted that cool fresh air was, in fact, a health benefit and added: “I believe you are not acquainted with my theory of colds.”

John Adams and Benjamin Franklin
Image captionStrange bedfellows… John Adams and Benjamin Franklin

They argued all night until Adams fell asleep. Adams simply wrote later: “I soon fell asleep, and left him and his philosophy together.”

It is perhaps a lesson for our times.

While the debate over open windows as opposed to open borders differs by a certain magnitude, there was a time when entirely incompatible politicians could reach an agreement.

Sure, it was by exhaustion rather than persuasion, but the dialogue continued to a conclusion without enlisting a federal court.

If the Democrats lose this case shortly before the 2020 election, they may wish they had tried the one-who-can-stay-up-the-latest approach to conflict resolution.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

56 thoughts on “Open Windows and Open Borders: A Lesson From The Founders On Conflict Resolution”

  1. Despite the efforts of Democrats to frame the border situation as one of decreasing illegal immigration, the President’s focus is on increasing transnational criminal activities taking place in defiance of border controls. Democrats would rather not attend to the public safety issues. The fact is (source: CBP) that approximately 1 out of every 50 people caught sneaking into the country have criminal records that pop up when their fingerprints are scanned. About 1:100 are convicted criminals previously deported from the US.

    Of course, these percentages are much higher than among those admitted with visas. What options do foreign nationals with criminal records (including deportees) have for re-entering the country? They can’t pass the security screen to obtain DHS day-passes. They can’t appear at a Port-of-Entry claiming asylum (they’ll be identified and put in detention). The criminal element only has the option of sneaking across the border.
    This is why the argument by Dems to leave sections of the border unfenced and unguarded, especially areas accessible by 4-wheel vehicles, makes no sense from a law enforcement perspective. And CBP’s highest priority (not new under the Trump Admin) is to impede the criminal element’s use of the border, and catch criminals, deportees and terrorists trying to sneak across.

    Given these priorities, which most Americans share, it made no sense for the Congress to thwart the DHS request for FY19 to complete physical barriers where practical. In fact, the Democrats couldn’t offer their rationale for turning away from this part of the DHS request — for ignoring the pros. I doubt they tried their “walls don’t work” slogan during the closed meeting with DGHS officials.

    The Federal Courts are being viewed with suspicion for interfering with the political branches’ responsibilities. A few of us recall last Feb 15th (2018), when Congress was working in earnest to solve the DACA problem by March 5th, a deadline set by the President to motivate Congress to perform in semi-realtime. A “Queen’s Anne” vote on 4 differing bills was scheduled, including the Grassly bill which traded a DACA-to-citizenship process for needed reforms to green card law (needed to confront the outrageous backlog delay faced by legal immigrant applicants). What happened? Two days before the vote showdown in the Senate, a Federal District Court Judge took the DACA deadline off the negotiating table, using the Temporary Restraining Order tactic. The dealmaking in the Senate was immediately trashed, and it would be naive to think this Judge did not understand the disruptive impact on pending legislation. The Senate Dems immediately reassessed their position, and many withdrew support for solving DACA with a compromise legislation, now convinced “the courts will take care of the DACAs”.

    This is a very dangerous pattern of behavior for the Courts to be taking — interfering with the political process while underway between Congress and the WH. Will we see that happen again soon regarding border security? Will the Federal Courts once again try to play an active role in policymaking that the Constitution gives them no role in?

  2. We have a couple of more weeks before Trump resigns and moves full time to Mar A Lago. In these days we should get together and stand up for America and insist that both sides of the aisle do so. Some of these new Congress members are beyond the Pale. That means Beyond The Paletinate. We do not need scarf heads in Congress.

    Mr Pence: Build Up That Fence!

        Some people even make a pretty good living considering that they don’t know **** from shinola.
        Since there’s virtually no accountability for these morons who tell us what will happen next, I guess they view it like buying a lottery ticket……take a longshot chance at making a stunning prediction.
        If they happen to be right every now and then, the video and other records of their predictions will be trumpeted.
        If they’re dead wrong, they usually aren’t called on it.
        We seem to be on an enrivonment where these seers just keep ’em coming, and so what? if they’re dead wrong.

          Here’s another one, but at least this one wasn’t stupid enough to predict a time frame of only weeks or months.
          He gave himself an entire year.
          I think it’s a certainty that Trump will leave the presidency sometime between now and January 2025.
          I justed wanted to add that “valuable” predictions
          to all of the other ones, and I will be proven correct.


    “Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom? If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here.”

    – Thomas Jefferson

    “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    There is no particular need for the U.S. to encourage immigration, “…except of useful mechanics and some particular descriptions of men or professions.”

    – George Washington

    1. Great reminder, thanks. (I just did a post yesterday at a different site, regarding the harm done by liberals, hollywood, broadway in rewriting history, e.g., “Hamilton.”) Selective facts often do more harm than entire falsehoods.

      1. Regarding the “Big Lie,” propaganda and indoctrination of public school, “Hamilton,” the MSM, movies, TV etc.;

        “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

        – William Casey, CIA Director 1981-1987

  4. America has been invaded by 22 million illegal aliens according to the Public Library of Science.

    That invasion is a national emergency for Americans.

    That invasion is a glorious victory for communists in America.

  5. “As this column discusses, there was at one time a much easier way to resolve the most bitter differences among political figures.”
    And to think I was hoping for a duel and all I got was two men sharing a bed.

    But then again it was written for the evermore politically correct BBC.

    1. “And to think I was hoping for a duel and all I got was two men sharing a bed.”

      So you like 3 ways? Hmmm. Who would have thought?
      No judgement! 🙃 My husband and I are monogamous

      Bill and Jim

      “Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality”
      The administration is responding in part to a reported hanging of a young gay man in Iran, Trump’s top geopolitical foe.

  6. First, those opposing this wasteful and ineffective phallic symbol promised by Trump to his deplorables aren’t just “Democrats”. There are multiple Republicans who also oppose it for the exact same reason. Secondly, the same Republicans who bitched about Obama thinking he was an emperor are afraid to stand against Trump, who was assisted in “winning” the Electoral College with the assistance of Russia, and who also LOST the popular vote. Most Americans not only did not vote for him, the majority has consistently disapproved of him and what he is trying to do. The rest of the world does not respect him, either. Third, most migrants are families who are seeking asylum, not criminals, drug dealers, murderers or rapists. Claiming otherwise is simply another Trumpian lie.

    Fourth, favor us, Jon, if you will with a link to the briefs you wrote on this issue when you represented the House of Representatives against President Obama.

    1. “Third, most migrants are families who are seeking asylum,” Then why do they need to sneak across the border? Why don’t they enter through the legal entry ports, or seek asylum at the embassy in their own country?

      Another question is, why do keep lying about the situation?

      1. Wait! If one is simply seeking asylum, why must one pass through Mexico?

        Is “asylum” paid for by the American taxpayer better than “asylum” paid for by the Mexican taxpayer?

        That brings to mind the demand for freedom by slaves.

        Turns out they didn’t want free-dom, they wanted “free stuff.”

        From “Generational Welfare” to “Affirmative Action Privilege” and beyond, they get a lot more than the “freedom” they so

        virtuously and nobly sought. Praise the Lord for the American taxpayer and the “white man’s money.” But then, that’s the nature

        of communism – to steal other people’s money.

      2. They aren’t sneaking across the border. They come to ports of entry and request asylum, only to be arrested and caged by Trump, with their food, clothing and medical care being paid for by you and me. That’s his famous reversal of what he calls “catch and release”. It is not criminal to seek asylum.

        1. I know you can read.


          Mexicans can make no serious claim of peril in Mexico.

          Central and South Americans must pass through Mexico.

          Is American “asylum” different from Mexican “asylum?”

          Do they really seek the protection of “asylum?”

          No. They seek the white man’s money.

    2. your unsubstantiated claims (e.g., Russia helped win the Electoral College votes) betray your true intentions– which have little to do with the facts raised by Turley. further, when you talk about the “majority,” please remember that polls generally reflect the agenda of the pollster, in addition to the “poll herding” phenomenon. If Rush Limbaugh conducted a poll, you”d be eating crow. So please be respectful and articulate legitimate arguments, not sarcastic nonsense. thank you

  7. “but few would call this a national emergency”

    That is blatantly obviously incorrect. Lots of people think it is.

    1. Come take a look at the once Great State of California. California has been invaded and destroyed. It’s been an invasion and national emergency for 50 years. Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower were compelled to execute mass Mexican deportations for the benefit of Americans and America. There are an estimated 60 million Mexican invaders in America. The Mexican Trojan Horse – the Barbarians are inside the gate.

      “…the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

      “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

  8. “Crossings do remain a serious problem, but few would call this a national emergency”

    When you dont live at the border and make a 6 figure income, are a legal celebrity writing columns ad nauseam and enjoy a pristeen life in the burbs of DC, yeah, the border (Mexican, Virginia, Maryland borders) all seem just fine

    Must be nice to live so detached from those at the border

    Angel moms send their regrets

  9. Today’s democrats, media and much of academia have the same character flaw that is at odds with logical and rational thought: they all project an absolute moral certainty in whatever position the wind blows them to take, and those positions are determined and shaped by a white hot hatred of all things Trump. I disagree strongly with Professor Turley over whether the border crisis is a national emergency. Surely, illegal immigration is down but the numbers still are staggering. When that is coupled with our inability to screen those who enter illegally, it is not surprising that many, many criminals have slipped through. Even so, democrats, media and academia have determined that opposition to illegal immigration is immoral. Why? Because Trump is against it and so the only moral position possible for them is to be for it. There is a cure. Democrats, media and much of academia need simply to grow up.

    1. But most of the illegal immigrant happpens at legal ports of entry when one enters with a visa and over stays or one illegally gets a visa…a model gets an Einstein Visa! Walls won’t stop that. And neither will Trump!

    2. America has been invaded by 22 million illegal aliens according to the Public Library of Science.

      Americans are against the invasion. Anti-American, global communists aid and abet it.

      It’s voting that matters. Voting is the core issue and fundamental driver.

      Every democracy in history has been a restricted-vote republic. Of course, young people under 21 with no sense and the “poor” who “sell” their votes should never be entitled. No country in its right mind would allow foreign citizens and citizens with foreign allegiances to vote (Obama’s father was a foreign citizen, imagine that). Of course, slaves will vote revenge. Women are obviously busy making citizens…lots of citizens (physical capacity up to 26 per female) sufficient to defend and grow the nation – or not – American mothers are on strike and America imports its population (China 1.4 billion, India 1.3 billion).

      Why restrictions on the right to vote were not codified by the Founders is an enduring mystery. They thought we all understood.

    3. Dear Intellectually Dishonest: your Faux News discipleship is showing. They refer to everyone who disapproves of Trump as either “Democrat”, or “the left”. Do you realize that this includes most Americans, and most of the world, as events at the recent economic conference show? Faux News calls everyone who disapproves of Trump as illogical, irrational, and mentally ill, coining the phrase “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. They claim that the mainstream media is unfair and prejudiced against Trump. This is a diversion for you Trumpsters that makes it easier to dismiss the truth about Trump, his serious character flaws, his serious knowledge deficit of how government works and lack of intellectual curiosity of basic information needed to govern effectively, the fact that he is not a successful leader or deal-maker, and that everything, and I mean literally everything, he does is all to feed his fragile ego. He is neither a patriot nor altruistic in any way, shape or form. Saying so does not equate to “white-hot hatred”. Trump lacks the moral, intellectual and emotional health to serve as President, and this is based on objective facts. Anyone who is a true patriot needs to stand up and be counted against him.

      Trump is a pathological liar, which has been proven repeatedly. He lies constantly, all of the time, and even about things that really aren’t important in the long-run, like his height and weight and the size of his inaugural crowd. He lies about drugs being smuggled across open borders versus coming in at ports of entry. He lies about migrants being criminals, rapists and murderers. He lies about diverting funds appropriated by Congress for the military and other purposes on the grounds that there is an emergency. He lied about being able to coerce Mexico to pay for the vanity wall. He lies about North Korea voluntarily de-nuclearizing because of his magnificent persuasive skills. He lies about Russia not helping him win the Electoral College, and when the American intelligence community refutes him with conclusions based on facts and investigation, he threatens to fire them. Dan Coates is on the chopping block for standing up for the truth. Pointing out these lies is the job of media. Faux News, Breitbart, Drudge, Limbaugh, et al, are the outliers. They are the ones allowing prejudice to prevent them from objectivity Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. Russia helped him by targeting a few key precincts in a few key states, and that swayed the Electoral College. Trump’s campaign provided Russians with key polling information so they would know where to target their social media campaign. Trump lied when he claimed he obtained an historically high Electoral College vote. The entire American intelligence community all agree about Russian interference. Now, their jobs are at risk. Trump defends Putin constantly as a pay back because he has defaulted on so many loans that no one other than Russians will loan him any more money. Trump continued negotiating with Russians for a Moscow hotel after he was the Republican nominee and lied about that, too. We can’t have a POTUS beholden to a hostile foreign power. We can’t have a POTUS who effectively negates the popular vote with the assistance of a hostile foreign power. That is not “white-hot hatred”. It’s called “patriotism”. I haven’t even covered all of his racist and misogynistic rhetoric, of which there is a massive amount.

      1. Anonymous/ Natacha pegs those that disagree with her as “Faux News disciples”.
        Then in the next breath, complains about the use of labels like “Democrat” or “the left”.
        In her mind, such as it is, generalizations and labeling are strickly a one-way street.
        I don’t mean to necessarily single her out; she has a good deal of company with others who are also chicken**** enough to play those tiresome games.

      2. “Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.”

        No historical democracy has ever elected by “popular vote.”

        No historical democracy has ever allowed for one man, one vote elections.

        Democracies have always been restricted-vote republics with citizens “entitled” to vote by meeting criteria.

        President Trump won the popular votes in a majority of 50 state elections per the Constitution.

        Have you heard of the U.S. Constitution?

        You communists don’t really care about the vote. You care only about personal power. Once you communists get to full communism, no one will be allowed to vote except those in the People’s National Congress; in China that includes a whopping 2,980 voters.

      3. Anonymous
        Your ability to try and deliver us from reality is truly remarkable. Every fact that you hold dear is not a fact, in fact……..It’s the opposite.
        The energy it takes to develop and recite alter-truths such as yours could power every home in Texas, I do believe.

    4. Amen, but I would have added that they project an absolute moral superiority, applied with a. condescension that is appalling, considering Turley’s cited examples of hypocrisy, among others.

  10. Good morning Mr T and as always, thank you for sharing your thoughts. If apprehensions are down to 400k , how do we know if 500,000 haven’t found more effective ways to sneak in ? Thank you.

  11. If “Defense” means protecting the US rather than terrorizing defenseless people around the world, then it is logical to build the wall with funds allocated for Defense. It’s not the $5 or $8 billion for a wall that is misallocated, it’s the rest of the Defense budget that should be challenged.

    1. The Wall is cheaper than the War in Afghanistan. With Pence we can build a Fence. I am all for a Fence. I believe that America needs a new political party. The Fence Party.

  12. The one thing most Americans likely agree on is that the system is broken and we are tired of voting for the lesser of the evils. Healthy competition between political factions is a good thing but currently we have “unhealthy” competition between political parties. One solution (to be debated further) is to have two-factions for each particular issue. Some issues, most voters of both parties actually agree on, but members of Congress will actually vote against the interests of the American people for purely partisan purposes. For example: on LGBT issues, women’s rights or gun issues, maybe have a “Faction A” versus a “Faction B” – one side supports and the other opposes. One could argue those rights would have been achieved decades earlier in this type of design. It’s totally constitutional, the Founding Fathers designed a “bi-cameral” system [House & Senate]. The Framers weren’t opposed to political parties as long as the parties provided additional checks & balances. Today’s system wipes away checks & balances. Voters could help this along by donating to individual candidates directly of either party.

  13. “They argued all night until Adams fell asleep. Adams simply wrote later: “I soon fell asleep, and left him and his philosophy together.
    It is perhaps a lesson for our times.
    While the debate over open windows as opposed to open borders differs by a certain magnitude, there was a time when entirely incompatible politicians could reach an agreement.”
    Abandoning your position is not reaching an agreement but it certainly is “a lesson for our times.” History is full of losers proclaiming moral victories. The winners just carry on setting the course — for good or bad.

    BTW, Franklin was right and Adams never did suffer the night vapors. That homage to the truth is why the fight — and its outcome — are important.

    1. It appears to me that compromise has gotten us to many bad policies that we must try to improve later and our law books now abound with such alleged improvements.

    2. mespo…………….We opened our window to the web log, and got, not miasma, but mespo! And we are happily better for it. Thank you!

        1. le mes…….. I read your gracious, funny remarks to hub. You’re the winner and still champ, mon ami!

  14. The only hypocrisy here is JT going to court to prevent Obama from spending money that Congress did not approve of, yet saying it is OK when Trump does it. And Trump is a bit worse because he used a fake emergency declaration to over rule a piece of legislation he just signed.

    Please just admit that both Trump and Obama were is the wrong.

    1. Turley gave an explanation as to why Obama was wrong legally and why Trump is correct.

        1. No Holmes, he provided his legal opinion which can be verified by looking up the case. Turley was involved in that case and Turley does know the law. So far you haven’t demonstrated any knowledge of the law so your comments can be easily discarded.

          Suggestion, take note of Turley’s expertise before criticising what he says. He won his case.

    2. Molly G, Law Professor Jonathan Turley predicted Trump’s national emergency will face court challenges, but said Democrats will lose on the merits because Congress has already bestowed this power on the president. “So there’s two issues here for the court. The authority, the source of the authority to declare the emergency and the source of the funds. On the source of authority, they will lose in a spectacular fashion because they gave this authority to the president [in 1976]. He and other presidents have virtually unfettered authority to declare an emergency. What Trump is going to do is he’s going to use money that was appropriated by Congress. It just doesn’t have these tight conditions on them. That’s Congress’s decision to make. They can appropriate money and not put many conditions on, they will have a much more difficult time in challenging all of these funds. Remember, the president can start construction with the money Congress just gave him. And even if they knock out one or two of these sources, he still has plenty to go, pretty far down that road.” Obama had no authority for what he did which was Turley’s point.

  15. As they all battle President Trump…

    They seem to simply not care about what the majority of the American People want


    1. hocus:

      They seem to simply not care about what the majority of the American People want *******************************
      They don’t see the “American People.” They see a hodgepodge of factions who, once divided, can be controlled through fear, intimidation, resentment, emotion and greed. That’s the insidiousness of their philosophy. They took the 18th century lesson of the British (stolen from the Romans “Divide et impera “) to heart and seek to divide and conquer. It’s a tactic as old as the human race and that we don’t see it means we’ve learned very little from our time in civilized society.

      1. That is perhaps why no democracy in history has ever survived for a prolonged period of time and more importantly has ever done what is in the best interest of the majority, instead provided benefits to special interests at the expense of the majority. Today 100,000,000 Americans, almost 1 in 3 are living at or near the poverty line. A recent N Y Federal Reserve Bank study concluded the 51% of Americans must borrow it or sell something to come with a mere $400 bucks. To understand this however, you must actually talk to the folks on the proverbial street, and few are obviously doing that.

      2. Whenever you have a system in which your have the tax recipients voting against the tax providers, you are going to have social conflict. The total cost of local, States and the Federal government today is $7.5 trillion “annually”. That makes the Public Treasuries and the various administrative agencies popular entities to work for and do business with leaving fewer and fewer people to produce the wealth s government grows in both size and scope of powers. As I like to point out, it’s not that any one social policy is that bad, it’s the collective. Everyone knows the various government budgets needs to be cut, they just want it to be somebody elses budget.

    2. Uh Hocuspocus13–“the majority of the American People”:

      1. Did NOT vote for Trump; WE voted for Hillary Clinton. This is a fact.
      2. Consistently have NOT approved of Trump since he invaded the White House; and
      3. Want him gone.

      It is literally more accurate to refer to him as “Comrade Trump”, because he is a Russian stooge.

  16. The GOP during the Obama years essentially perpetrated a political-coup. The GOP denied Obama of approximately 100 federal judge picks, including somewhat conservative Merrick Garland. This was the catalyst of illegality that forced Obama to circumvent that rogue Congress. Judicial Branch picks are vitally important since this branch defends unpopular issues and Americans with little representation.

    1. There is enough bad precedence for almost any claim of a national emergency to be advanced today.

      Jefferson was highly prognosgitative on his believing the judiciary, if given to much power, might ruin our Republic and destroy our Rights. For those that do not know, Jefferson was in France during the Constitutional Conversions, probably send there on purpose so he wouldn’t be at them, as he continued to favor the Articles of Confederation.

      No government has yet to be restrained in both its size and scope of powers of its central government. The Federal Government along now costs taxpayers $4.2 trillion annually, twice that of all local and State governments combined and administrative oversight redundancies abound between the various levels. The departments of education as an example.

      What is more interesting and of concern, is we have not been able to determine by political means the legitimate functions of government nor provide proof of those social polices we have enacted, as legitimate, are in the best interest of the majority. Instead we have been given for the most part, lots of undsubstantiarted opinions with a plethora of mysterious and often indiscernible conjecture and hypotheses.

      Can anyone tell us logically why this is? There is a very simple answer.

    2. In a interview with Harry Reid, Jeffrey Tobin discovered that Nominating judges to the federal judiciary was low on Obama’s list. The President filled two quick vacancies on the Supreme Court with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. As for the dozens of vacancies on the federal circuit and district courts, Obama’s attention was fleeting. He didn’t even submit nominees to fill many judicial vacancies, including on the D.C. Circuit, which is generally regarded as the second most important court in the country. Despite that and with Reid’s invoking of the nuclear option to circumvent Republicans 334 judges were approved.

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