Addressing Donald Trump’s apparent plan to declare a national emergency in order to get his border wall built, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin warned that the president likely would be able to get the courts to agree with him.
Appearing on CNN’s New Day, Toobin said that the ability for a president to declare national emergencies is easier than many are led to believe but at the same time said, Trump’s use of the declaration was what one might expect from an authoritarian leader.
“I think it is unlikely to be stopped by the courts, let’s put it that way,” Toobin told hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota.
“For a couple of reasons,” he continued. “One is that the president’s emergency powers are phrased in a very broad way. And second, as a purely legal matter, it is — it is hard for me to imagine the courts finding a plaintiff with standing, that says a plaintiff with the legal right to sue to stop this at an early point in the process.”
“You know, the president’s emergency powers have been invoked more than you think, often on issues that are not terribly high profile — issues involving the Congo,” Toobin elaborated. “There are 31 current emergencies, most of them not controversial at all, but, you know, they indicate the breadth of the president’s power here, and at least in the short-term, I think if President Trump wanted to do this, the courts would let him.”
Following a discussion on Trump of diverting $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds toward building his wall, Toobin accused the president of acting like an authoritarian.
“I do think just on the substance we need to pause and consider, you know, this is what happens in authoritarian countries,” the legal analyst explained. “When leaders don’t get their way they declare emergencies and go around the usual legal processes.”
You can watch the video below via CNN: