Trump declared a national emergency, then literally said the words

I didn't need to do this.

He further admitted that it's just a "faster way" to accomplish what he wants.

How will this affect the possible court rulings that are surely coming up? I mean, maybe I am misunderstanding something here, but doesn't that statement make it obvious that the court will rule against him, since he literally admitted it isn't an emergency but just a way for him to bypass slower processes of government?

  • 2
    I would have thought his statement "I don't need to do this" undermines the idea of it being an emergency. If it is an emergency you need to do something, if you don't need to do it, then it is not an emergency?
    – Jontia
    Feb 17 '19 at 11:23
  • it depends on the nature of the challenge; he very well might have the authority to misuse the law, and if that's what they rule on, his actions have no bearing. Consider me, a man, taking a parking spot "for expectant mothers". While there's no arguing that i'm not expecting, if the sign is not legally enforceable, than it doesn't matter how disqualified i am.
    – dandavis
    Feb 19 '19 at 18:01

It's probably best to compare this to other cases that have already been brought against the President that concern what he's publicly said, such as various defamation cases and the travel bans. His statements have generally all been held to be "political speech", thereby signifying nothing in the eyes of the courts. The Supreme Court basically ignored everything about the (origins of the) travel ban that wasn't specifically in the official ban. We can likely expect this to be treated in much the same fashion: that he was acting as a politician making a political speech.

So if this is the only substantive piece of evidence a legal claim brings up, then that claim will probably fail. But as a small piece in a greater amalgam of evidence it may have some relevance in convincing a judge that this evidence all points to an unconstitutional or illegal act. It's hard to say for sure, as a lot of this will hinge upon the level of scrutiny the courts apply, and if the courts are justified and empowered to look beyond the face-value of things.

  • The difference between the travel ban and this, was that his original statements about the travel van were over a year before the actual attempt to implement it, were made while he was not the President of the United States, and the policy he passed was written differently than the one he talked about. None of those conditions for ignoring his statements apply here.
    – Joe
    Feb 19 '19 at 12:47
  • @Joe He continued to make those statements after becoming president, quite frequently referring to it as the "Muslim ban", for example. It's odd that you have this impression that he's somehow become more muted and constrained after getting elected. And defamation cases have also concerned statements made while president, and were similarly dismissed as political speech. And the "policy he passed was written differently" is exactly what I state in the post: the courts often don't look past the face value of the official order/policy Feb 19 '19 at 20:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .