Trump's use of a national emergency declaration to secure border wall funding should trouble anyone who understands and appreciates separation of powers. According to a 2007 report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the 1976 National Emergencies Act entitles the president to "statutory delegations from Congress" that let him "seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens."One of the common complaints I make about the border security issue is that it's so very easy for people in Western Massachusetts to make pronouncements when they will bear very little of the consequences of illegal immigration. So I hesitate to say this but - c'mon - this is not a national emergency. This is not terrorists slamming 747s into the World Trade Center; it's the typical level of border crossings that have existed forever. There's nothing extraordinary about it.
We don't know what limits there are on a president's ability to declare a national emergency. There is definitely potential for civil liberties abuses, particularly in regard to eminent domain, which is the process by which the government forces a property owner to sell.
Speaking as someone who has warmed up to Trump, this "emergency" smells like something cooked up to save face and it sets a terrible precedent.
Extra - This Trump tweet aged really well.
More - The Corner: "Courts Should Not Defer to Trump’s National-Security Pretext."