During a panel discussion on MSNBC, activist, lawyer and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig explained why the true national emergency facing the United States is not the immigrants on the border but the president himself.
Lessig explained that President Donald Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency to score his border wall isn’t Constitutionally possible.
“The question is, under these statutes whether had could create enough uncertainty to be able to dislodge the presumption, the very strong presumption, that building a wall on the border requires an act by Congress, which he’s just not going to get,” Lessig said.
The more significant problem, he said, was that Trump is using language that has “no connection to reality” when it comes to immigration.
“He says we have a national crisis, a national security crisis,” he continued. “A national emergency. I agree we have a national emergency, but the emergency is this president. The emergency is the fact we don’t have an executive who’s exercising his power in a responsible way. So, if he calls this national security, and he invokes the powers that have been granted under these statutes according to national security then there has to be a process to check him, and that process takes time.”
While Lessig doubts Trump has the Constitutional authority to make a move like that, it will put Congress, notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in an awkward position.
Watch the full conversation in the video below: