Emergency Powers in the Trump Era and Beyond

January 16, 2019

The term “emergency powers” conjures images of crackdowns and rights abuses by authoritarian regimes. But emergency powers are also a standard feature of modern democracies—including the United States. Unknown to most Americans, Congress has passed more than a hundred laws that give the president special authority when he declares a national emergency, including powers to shut down communications facilities, freeze Americans’ bank accounts, and deploy troops inside the U.S. In a time when institutional checks and balances are being tested, do these extraordinary powers protect our democracy… or do they put it at risk?

Join the Brennan Center for Justice and R Street Institute for a symposium that will explore the deeply important and timely questions raised by presidential emergency powers in the U.S. Former government officials, scholars, and advocates will come together for a day of discussion including:

  • An overview of the legal framework for emergency powers in the U.S., focusing on some of the most extraordinary powers in the president’s legal arsenal
  • Perspectives from the inside, featuring former executive branch officials with direct experience in governing during emergencies; A conversation about the risks vulnerable communities face in emergencies, and how to mitigate those risks
  • Lessons we can draw from recent experiences with emergency powers in other nations.

Speakers to be announced.

For more information:
Erica Posey

Co-sponsored by:

  • Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
  • R Street