Congress Should Rescind the State of Emergency Declared by Bush

The White House suspended the Constitution and implemented Continuity of Government Plans on 9/11, based upon a declared state of national emergency. Bush has continually renewed the declared state of emergency up to and including today. See this.

The White House has done everything it could to scare people and convince them that America is under attack, as a way to justify the yearly renewal of the declared state of emergency and the continuing unconstitutional seizure of power by the executive branch.

In other words, the ongoing state of emergency is both the result of fearmongering and the justification for tyranny.

But Congress has the power to revoke the state of emergency.

Specifically, the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. Sections 1601-1651 (passed in 1976), gives Congress the power to countermand a presidential declaration of national emergency. Indeed, in 1976, Congress rescinded all of the declarations of national emergency made since World War II, as many of them had been on the books for years and were giving the executive unrestricted powers which were undermining the Constitution.

So in addition to impeachment, contempt for ignoring subpoenas, and a host of other powers, Congress can countermand Bush’s declarations of national emergency since 2001.

With the declared state of emergency over, Continuity of Government Plans cannot remain in effect, and Congress is suddenly in a much stronger position to reign in Bush and Cheney.

Note to legal scholars: In 1983, the Supreme Court struck down a portion of Congress’ power to countermand a declaration of national emergency. But Congress got around that ruling by amending the National Emergencies Act in 1985 to confirm Congress’ power to countermand – through a joint resolution between the House and Senate – a declaration of emergency by the president (see this).

Moreover, in 2007, the Bush Administration tried to ignore the National Emergencies Act by issuing National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51. But that dog won’t hunt. The Constitution does not allow the president to unilaterally cut Congress out of the picture.

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