If President Donald Trump really does declare a national emergency as a way to go around Congress to fund his border wall, what precedent would that set for future presidents?
Writing in the Washington Examiner, conservative Philip Klein outlines how Trump’s gambit to build his border wall without congressional approval could completely blow up in the GOP’s face.
According to Klein, the worst-case scenario for the president is that the Supreme Court rules he has the right as president to build the wall by declaring an emergency — and then he still loses the 2020 presidential election to a progressive Democrat.
“In that case, Trump wins the case in court, but the decision comes too late for him to get much construction done by the end of his first term,” Klein explains. “Then, he loses re-election. The next Democratic president could then stop construction on the border wall but still turn around and use the precedent set by court decision as a means of advancing any big-ticket liberal items that can’t get through Congress.”
In other words, concludes Klein, Republicans will have spent years of political capital to tear down governing norms only to “give the next Democratic president a blank check.”
For Klein, this scenario represents nothing short of a “nightmare” for the GOP.