If a hundred independent, non-partisan legal experts could be gathered in one room and asked if President Donald Trump had valid cause to declare a national emergency, it’s a safe bet that the overwhelming majority of them would say that the chief executive was wrong, dead wrong.
In fact, Mr. Trump said it himself when he openly stated that he did not have to take this course of action that he knows will face legal challenges, and result in a final and eventual resounding defeat.
The law may not be perfectly clear on what constitutes a national emergency, but this one declared by Mr. Trump is anything but.
When even a number of his fellow Republicans have stated that there is no national emergency to speak of, and that declaring one was a foolhardy move, one must ask the obvious question: Why did President Trump opt to fight a battle that he is sure to lose?
There is no clear answer to this. Pundits say that he was forced to do so because he must live up to his campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexico border. They say it is a matter of pride, as he does not want to be perceived as a loser in a major political battle.
Whatever the reason, Mr. Trump has foreseen what will happen next.
Already, legal challenges have commenced. The very existence of a national emergency will be questioned in court, and there is little chance that any judge will recognize that one exists.
As he is wont to do and as he also predicted, further legal challenges will have the same result. By his own words and actions, it will be pointed out that the president himself knows that the emergency he speaks of is exaggerated at best, or non-existent at worst.
Worst of all, the legal challenges will take months, if not years, to settle. Mr. Trump may take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but by then he will be campaigning for his desired second term.
In the meantime, his presidency will be bogged down by the legal maneuverings that will affect his ability to effectively govern.
The worst part is that Mr. Trump’s insistence to divert funds from other worthy projects such as military spending to improve facilities will be stymied. And public anger will be severe should he decide to move funds from much worthier projects as reconstruction of Puerto Rico or insuring that last year’s California wildfires are not repeated.
It must be stated again and again. No one is against securing the country’s southern border, but a wall is the least effective solution in preventing the entry to the US of drugs as well as unsavory immigrants with criminal backgrounds.
President Trump has made some horrible decisions during his presidency, but his declaration of a national emergency this week must qualify as the most ill-advised, the worst, and the most damaging.
Sadly, we do not know what is needed to knock some sense into him. We can only watch as he continues to self-destruct, causing serious harm to the country we all love.