Emergency Powers in the Trump Era and Beyond
Co-sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and the R Street Institute
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.
You may download the full agenda here.
Speakers will include:
- Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, United Nations (TBC)
- Sahar Aziz, Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School
- William Banks, Professor of Law Emeritus, Syracuse College of Law
- Rachel Brown, Executive Director, Over Zero
- Nadia Firozvi, Project Manager for the Special Project on Fostering a Just and Inclusive Society, Democracy Fund
- Christopher Fonzone, former Legal Adviser to the National Security Council
- Elizabeth Goitein, Co-Director of the Liberty and National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
- Avril Haines, former Deputy National Security Advisor
- Anil Kalhan, Professor of Law, Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Drexel University
- Ashkhen Kazaryan, Director of Civil Liberties and Legal Research Fellow, TechFreedom
- Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Michelle Mendez, Managing Attorney, Defending Vulnerable Populations Project, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc.
- Eric Muller, Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor of Law in Jurisprudence and Ethics, UNC School of Law
- Gabriel Negretto, Professor, Political Studies Division, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (C.I.D.E.)
- Wendy Parmet, Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law and Director, Center for Health Policy and Law, Northeastern University
- Saikrishna Prakash, James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University
- Arjun Sethi, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
- Tevi Troy, former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Carl Wagner, former Associate Deputy General Counsel for Homeland Defense
- Phil Wallach, Senior Fellow, Governance Project, R Street Institute
NY CLE Credits in the Area of Professional Practice are available for this event. Three total credits are available for the full day, with morning and afternoon panel discussions eligible for 1.5 credits each. For more information and materials, please register via Eventbrite and/or contact Erica Posey (information below).
For more information: