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The ‘Emergency Powers’ Risk of a Second Trump Presidency

by Elijah
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The ‘Emergency Powers’ Risk of a Second Trump Presidency

Donald Trump appears Unpleasant dream that he would be an American authoritarian if he returned to power. The former American president, who managed to secure enough delegates on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for 2024, plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and house dozens of them in large numbers struggling. He want to invoking the Insurrection Act to deploy the military in cities across the country to quell civil unrest. He wants prosecute his political opponents. There is an organized and well-funded organization attempt to replace career officials in the federal government with Trump loyalists who will do his bidding and help him consolidate power.

What also worries legal experts, however, are the special powers he has, which have been available to all recent presidents, but are generally not used. If Trump decides to become completely authoritarian, he will could be using so-called “emergency powers” ​​to shut down the internet in certain areas, censor the internet, freeze people’s bank accounts, restrict transportation and more.

Using laws like the National Emergencies Act, the Communications Act of 1934, and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), he could wield power in ways this country has never seen. Moreover, America’s vast surveillance state, which has been regularly abused, could theoretically be further abused to monitor its perceived political enemies.

“There are actually no emergency powers regarding oversight, and that is because the non-emergency powers are so powerful and give such broad authority to the executive branch. They just don’t need emergency powers to do that,” said Elizabeth Goitein, senior director of the Liberty & National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Goitein says she’s most concerned, however, about what a president might do with the emergency powers at his disposal, considering whether a president might decide to act like an authoritarian. She says the laws surrounding these powers leave little ability for any other branch of government to stop a president from doing what he wants.

“Emergency powers are intended to give presidents extraordinary powers for use in extraordinary circumstances. Because they provide these very powerful authorities, it is crucial that there are checks and balances built in and protection against abuse,” says Goitein. “The problem with our current emergency power system – and that system consists of many different laws – is that it really lacks these checks and balances.”

For example, under the National Emergencies Act, the president simply has to declare some kind of national emergency to activate powers set forth in more than 130 different provisions of law. What constitutes an actual emergency is not defined by these laws, so Trump could come up with any number of reasons to declare one, and he could not easily be stopped from abusing this power.

“There is a provision in the Communications Act of 1934 that allows the President to close or take over communications facilities in the event of a national emergency. There is a provision that allows the president to exercise virtually unspecified control over domestic transportation, which can be interpreted extremely broadly,” Goitein said. “There is IEEPA, which allows the President to freeze the assets of anyone and block financial transactions with anyone, including an American, if the President sees fit to address an unusual or extraordinary threat that is at least partially out of control.” comes abroad.”

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