Calling It 'Gross Abuse of Power,' Democrats Vow to Nullify Trump's National Emergency Declaration

With President Donald Trump declaring Friday morning a national emergency to access funding for "his racist and wasteful wall," Democrats vowed to move quickly to nullify what they characterize as his "gross abuse of power."

"The only emergency facing the American people right now is the president's intent to subvert the separation of powers and the rule of law," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement announcing his support for a joint resolution to terminate such a declaration.

Fellow Democratic committee member Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) criticized the expected move as well, writing on Twitter, "This ridiculous 'emergency declaration' would be beyond the scope of anything ever seen before."

In his statement, Nadler refuted Trump's characterization of a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, said Trump was given no directive to construct "a medieval border wall," and argued that the president has no legal authority to pursue an emergency declaration given the situation.

"Congress entrusted the president with authority to reallocate funds during unforeseen and urgent situations, such as wars and natural disasters," Nadler said. "No sensible person believes there is an emergency at the southern border. Illegal immigration is at record lows, and families with children who lawfully seek asylum are not foreign invaders."

"Moreover," Nadler continued, "the law that the president reportedly plans to invoke applies only in situations where the military must be called upon for national defense purposes. But the military is prohibited from enforcing the nation's immigration laws—and the president cannot deploy the military in a transparent attempt to create the appearance of an emergency where none exists. The only emergency facing the American people right now is the president's intent to subvert the separation of powers and the rule of law."

Progressive advocacy groups, meanwhile, are gearing up for their own responses should Trump issue a national emergency declaration.

"If the slide to authoritarianism and tyranny is to be averted, he must be restrained—in the first place by Congress and hopefully by the courts, but ultimately by the American people," said Public Citizen president Robert Weissman. "The future of our country is very much at stake. It's up to We the People to defend our nation against the tyranny rising before our eyes."

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