The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Trump Has the Power, Case is Closed

    In the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 the Congress gave the President the power to declare "national emergencies" based on what the "President believes" (section 1703 of the Act). Trump is claiming that Act gives him the power to force all American companies to leave their manufacturing and assembly operations, and their commerce with, China. He is right.

    The 1977 law, which was meant to limit presidential power, did no such thing. The law says emergencies can be declared, and almost unlimited presidential power on foreign commerce can be exercised, based on only presidential "beliefs".

    Only the weak and frankly vacuous instruction in the 1977 Act to "report to Congress when the President believes" (section 1703), to "consult with Congress", and to "At least once during each succeeding six-month period after transmitting a report" send another report, are the extent of Congressional involvement once a president uses this Act.

    The Emergency Powers Act, 1977, pdf.

    Trump correctly declares today:

    For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!

    As the New York Times notes:

    ..the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, a law originally passed as part of a congressional effort to define and restrain presidential assertions of power not to enable a president to cut off economic ties with a trading partner because of a disagreement over tariffs.

    What the law was intended for, and what it says, are two different things.

    Trump has already used the Emergency Economic Powers Act to claim imports of Canadian aluminum are a national security threat, and he ordered tariffs on Canadian aluminum,

    The Republican Congress did nothing to oppose him.

    The Democratic House this year did pass a resolution with the force of law to overturn the Trump Declaration of Emergency on the southern border, and blocking his subsequent use of US Treasury funds for construction of a border wall.

    It even passed the Senate with a few Republican votes.  It was vetoed by Trump, his first, making it null and void. It would take a veto override to stop Trump, and enough Republicans were not willing to do that.

    Article One section 9 of the US Constitution, says:

    No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law;

    Largely on that Constitutional basis, Congress took the Trump administration to court, arguing the use of military funds appropriated for other purposes, to divert for the Wall, usurped the legitimate power of the House and Congress.

    The Supreme Court was not impressed, The Republican judges ruled in a split decision, 5 to 4, that Trump could transfer money appropriated for different reasons, to meet his campaign promise and so-called border emergency. Even though both the House and Senate opposed the action, and opposed the declaration of an emergency.

    The Republican justices on the Supreme Court support a very wide scope of power for a Republican president.  They are unlikely to prevent Trump from carrying out his latest threats that US companies must leave China.

    The International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, did not limit the President's power, but made it virtually unlimited,  It was missing an important clause, one that said a "presidential belief" that an emergency exists may be overturned by the simple majority vote of either the House or the Senate.

    Under current law, and the 1977 Act, as interpreted by the Supreme Court's conservative justices, the court's power does not allow them to second guess presidential powers related to, or the validity of the "beliefs" that a president uses, in declarations of national emergencies.


    I see Lawfare (where they are all experts in Federal law, and especially the internationally related) tweeted in direct reply to the president's tweet a link to their primer on the IEEPA from July 19 by Stephanie Zable:

    Curious what the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) authorizes the president to do? Read our explainer:

    — Lawfare (@lawfareblog) August 24, 2019

    I'm 99.5% sure he didn't read it. I'm going to read it now anyhow.

    I also just now ran across this expert's reply to Trump's tweet:

    The Lawfare summary, from July:

    "For now, external forces seem to have persuaded the president to rely on existing and calibrated measures. But there is no guarantee that this will hold. And if the president decides to use his IEEPA authority, little would stand in his way. The United States exists in a near-permanent state of national emergencyand in that context IEEPA permits the president to take dramatic action with minimal oversight by Congress or the courts."

    I would say Trump will not leave office gracefully.  He wants "wins", the foremost is to be the center of attention. His grandiosity in seeking historical immortality requires him to make unprecedented use of presidential power, with the objective of creating everlasting Trumpian pillage of our institutions and nation, and a consequential blight on future generations.

    I've seen more than a few on Twitter making the point, though, that the permanent state of emergency was exclusively created by Trump being president. So what do you do with that legally under our Constitution? It is basically the Reichstag fire meme, so theoretically it's very important.

    At the same time, I do like to watch leaders I trust for cues on big picture perspective. If Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hillary and Bill Clinton and Michelle and Barack Obama aren't packing up and going into exile in another country to plot to get it back, I am not panicking about that.

    The following article, if true, tells us what we need to know as a practical not theoretical matter: WHITE HOUSE MULLING ACTIONS TO STOP TRUMP FROM F--KING UP THE ECONOMY. After all, it would be President Pence replacing him if he was removed, and economic policy would not be changing that much, it would just be less crazed.

    With all due respect to Twitter, we have 33 ongoing national emergencies, one of which dates back to the Carter administration (freezing Iranian assets). Clinton declared 17 national emergencies (6 ongoing), and Obama declared 12 (10 ongoing) to Trump's 5 so far. So I'd say NCD has it right. Trump is using his emergencies powers in more controversial ways, of course, but he didn't create the permanent state of emergency. He just exploited it.

    well you can fuggedaboutit with Trump for now and worry about the others, he was just "thinking" aloud:

    “I have no plan right now,” Trump says amid escalating Chinese trade war

    “I have second thoughts about everything,” Trump said after announcing new tariffs on Chinese goods.

    @ Vox. com Aug 25, 2019, 11:09am EDT

    So to counter Sarandon, Trump will not be able to "blow things up" to "start the revolution, just move us towards recalibrating our democracy - iterative and resilient as always?

    Co-founder of Lawfare sums things up:

    "Members of Mr. Trump’s administration were publicly and privately dumping on the French president and his team. They complained that the focus of the summit was more on 'niche' climate change, income and gender equality, and African development... ".   link

    Stephanie Greaseball, speaking for the administration:

    Why doesn't the G7 address the central issue facing the world today?

    Trump's reelection campaign and how the G7 can support Trump?

    Where is the criticism of Chairman Powell, and the Fed? 

    Where is condemnation of disloyal Democrats, and where is the G7  praise for The Wall?"

    I liked this one best, it has the classic Trump shtick of a 2-yr. old making up a story:

    After having seen that re-tweeted by someone else, I went to Randi's feed and found she also has this wonderful photo of Tweedledum and Tweedledee:


    Hahaha ! If these two dworks were in the same school and same grade, and there was "choose up" for 2 teams for some phys ed basketball, sport etc, they would, first, be the last ones to make their way down the flight of stairs and the  last out on the field, then be absolute last to get picked for a team.

    Not because they were unathletic, but because they were crybaby whiners and jawboning complainers, who could care less about the team and the game, guys whose addition make a team worse for their very presence.

    it is lol funny, isn't it?! I actually wish she would have left her caption off, the dworkness and dweebness expressed are so much bigger than that one point!

    great minds think alike:

    Our "Special Relationship, from sea to Shining sea...

    Dennis Praeger (sp?) on talk radio saying kids being overloaded with talk about global warming, LGBT, racism, rather than important history - Gettysburg Address and the like "Four Score and Seven Years Ago or however that goes", forgetting perhaps the 'all men created equal part that follows.

    Then he says Founding Fathers didn't intend an equal Democracy, but a caretaker state of monied interests. Not that he says it quite like that, but Praeger likes the powerfful elites, presuming they're this weeks version of "conservative" I should add.

    Big picture article on IEEPA/Constitution topic:

    He dismisses my point in the blog on an amendment clause for the law, the ability to block a presidential "belief" of an emergency, he says:

    ..any congressional attempt to wrest these powers back would likely need to overcome a presidential veto, and thus require a congressional supermajority.

    No, It would not take a supermajority if the 19977 Act was amended, passed the House and Senate, and a President who recognized the danger of an out of control emergency declaring despot, agreed with, and signed, the amendment to the law.

    Update: Senate says no again on emergency wall

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