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Rep. Justin Amash Has The Correct Idea: Curbing Presidential Emergencies!

It Does Not Go Far Enough; Need Curbs on the Use of Power Altogether!

Reason Magazine is reporting that the alas lame duck sole Libertarian congressman, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, has unveiled (I cannot yet find the text yet) a bill to curb Presidential emergencies.

Today Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) unveiled the National Emergencies Reform Act, a bill to rein in presidential statutory control over emergency powers.

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Amash’s legislation would automatically sunset an emergency declaration after 60 days unless a simple majority of Congress votes to keep it alive. If Congress is unable to meet during that timeframe, it would have 48 hours to approve its continuation once it reconvenes.

This is actually a very prudent reform of the emergency power. I think actual power needs to be curbed. It is largely a function of the imperial Presidency. From Reason:

Of the 69 national emergencies declared since the NEA’s inception in 1976, 35 are still ongoing. Seven originated with President Donald Trump, 10 with President Barack Obama, 11 with President George W. Bush, and six with President Bill Clinton. The remaining one dates back to the reign of Jimmy Carter.

The Libertarian Party platform implies but does not discuss Presidential emergency powers. I suggest emergency powers can be enacted by positive law but not unilaterally created by a President. All LP candidates running for federal office (and maybe major state offices like Governor and Attorney General) should add this to their platform.

More info for my readers from the Brennan Center for Justice (far too left-wing for my liking but sometimes the other side is right) on Presidential emergencies can be found in this article here.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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