Alan Keyes
President Trump's Declaration of Emergency, Part 2
Alan Keyes see Dems ready to punish Trump for showing 'political courage'
By Alan Keyes
March 5, 2019

The president's ultimate duty is to avoid tyranny while preserving the nation's sovereign, constitutional existence.
    With their spending bill, Democrats pushed a legislative wheelbarrow, stuffed with hidden wall-killing provisions, and rushed to a vote to sneak one past Trump. Trump responded with his national emergency declaration. As the courts get involved, we will see Newton's Law of politics come into play there as well, narrowing options for both sides. (Lt. Col. James Zumwalt, "Trump's wall: To be or not to be?")
This morning before I began work on the draft needed to fulfill the promise I made to readers last week, I read the article quoted above. I could not find fault with James Zumwalt's conclusion about the poisonous flaws in the legislation President Trump agreed to sign in order to end the partial shutdown of the federal government. Nor do I disagree with Zumwalt's conclusion that "Even though he knew he would declare a national emergency to circumvent it, Trump should have vetoed this spending bill." But the president's decision was, as they say, a "judgment call." People outside the complex web of personal relations that legislative and bureaucratic politics inevitably involves should be honest enough to declare that second-guessing the people who work at the center of that web always involves a high degree of ignorance.

We are entitled to our opinion. But President Trump is also entitled to the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true because his declaration of a national emergency deals with a critical threat to our nation's sovereign control of our territory, one that involves national and health security, as well as the faithful execution of laws regulating immigration. As Lt. Col. Zumwalt and others – including the present U.S. Border Patrol chief Carla Provost and the former chief under Obama, Mark Morgan – attest, the emergency is real, and construction of the right kind of barriers along the border, everywhere they are needed is, one of the crucial elements required to handle it.

These are people who have the experience and professional motivation to judge President Trump's decision objectively. As I pointed out in last week's column, Nancy Pelosi and her party of boisterously open, or slyly deceitful crypto-socialists are working an anti-Constitution agenda well-served by seeding large numbers of people from abroad into states and congressional districts throughout our nation, so that election officials like Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes can allow them to slip onto the voter rolls in congressional or presidential elections, no matter where they come from, in violation of federal law. (Doing so is now an important aspect of the Democrats' strategy to overthrow the U.S. Constitution. Compare the reports here, here, and here.)

President Trump is right about the threat. As of his agreement to end the shutdown, we are entitled to our opinion – so are members of the Supreme Court. But when it comes to fulfilling his oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution, is the president obliged to heed their opinion? As Alexander Hamilton pointed out (Federalist No. 78):
    The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.
Hamilton's observation involves the well-known "separation of powers," which the framers of the Constitution relied upon to prevent individual, oligarchic, or majority tyranny in the government of the United States. If the opinion of the Supreme Court must automatically prevail over the president's use of his Executive powers, that reliance must prove futile. Instead of the responsible, energetic Executive the framers rightly saw as the key to preserving the republic, we would have judicial tyranny, in which Executive and Legislative power are subject to the whims of the Supreme Court's majority.

In a dispute between the president, Congress, and the Supreme Court, who decides the issue? On the one hand, the Court's activities would become meaningless if they are simply to be ignored by the other branches in any case. On the other hand, if, as is now falsely assumed, they automatically assume the status of imperative general law, the Court could by fiat of their words simply usurp control of the Executive and Legislative powers. Neither assumption makes sense.

The courts are tribunals whose power reflects that of the original Roman tribunes from which that term derives. The tribunes could prevent the execution of a given law against an individual in order to allow an appeal to the people as a whole. With this in mind, the Supreme Court's judgments properly bear on individuals involved in the particular cases the Constitution empowers the federal Judiciary to decide. However, they do not automatically dictate "the law" with respect to the other branches of government.

In the matter of Executive prerogative we are discussing, if a president conscientiously concludes that accepting the Court's judgment will prevent him from honoring the Constitution's provision, or fulfilling his oath in respect of the Constitution, he is bound by that oath to disregard the Court's opinion and do what he deems necessary to fulfill his oath. This is the logical cause for granting the president an unlimited pardoning power. That power implies leave to order violations of the law when necessary to preserve, in fact, the sovereign will (in this case the Constitution and the people who ordain and establish it) from which its authority derives.

Does this mean that the president is above the law? Is there no way to call the chief executive to account for abuses of power? Of course, there is. But as in the ancient Roman republic, it involves appealing to the people. This is why their representatives in Congress have the duty to oversee the chief executive; impeach abuses of executive power; and, after due process of law according to the Constitution's terms, remove from office the individual elected to wield it. Given the two-thirds majority required in the U.S. Senate for removal, the latter step is unlikely to occur but with reasonable assurance of widespread and overwhelming support from the states and the people of the United States, respectively.

When it comes to the survival of the Constitution and sovereignty of the American people, constitutional law is not an ass. Only the anti-republican power-mongering of elitists, now bent on overthrowing them both, presently feeds the notion that it is. The emergency President Trump has declared involves a threat, not unlike the deterioration of our nuclear deterrent. Once the actual situation arises in which that deterioration comes into play, it is long past being remedied in time to deal with the threat. Similarly, once organized, large cohorts of ostensibly unarmed foreigners are arriving at and streaming toward our borders, it will be too late to evade the choice between atrocity and surrender that must conflict our conscience and likely paralyze our national will.

As with nuclear war, the right strategy is deterrence. The right strategy is to avoid the use of force until people acting with the intention to destroy our nation willfully endanger themselves with actions that declare the unmistakably mortal intention they have already declared: "No border! No Wall! No USA at all." When push comes to shove, will the American people surrender to that attack upon their existence, or back the president whose political courage calls them to prepare what is needed to defeat it? Nancy Pelosi and the elitist anti-constitutional forces she represents probably mean to impeach the president to penalize him for demonstrating that courage.

Pray God the American people will respond as they always have when overweening dictators and would-be restorers of elitist tyranny threaten the land of God-endowed rights – including national liberty – true Americans are bound to preserve. God willing, we will stand and fight against the elitist retrogressives – with our votes, but also with our lives, if need be – in order to win the battle that proves our continued existence as the sovereign people "the laws of nature and of nature's God" entitled us to be.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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