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Testimony on Reforming Emergency Powers before the House Committee on the Judiciary

Elizabeth Goitein, Co-Director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, testified before House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on May 17, 2022.

Published: May 17, 2022

In recent months, the House Janu­ary 6 commit­tee has obtained evid­ence that advisors to former Pres­id­ent Trump encour­aged him to invoke emer­gency powers to obstruct or over­turn the 2020 elec­tion. Those revel­a­tions strengthened a bipar­tisan consensus that the laws govern­ing national emer­gen­cies are ripe for reform. On May 17, 2022, Eliza­beth Goitein urged the House Judi­ciary Subcom­mit­tee on the Consti­tu­tion, Civil Rights, and Civil Liber­ties to reform the National Emer­gen­cies Act and restore congres­sional checks against exec­ut­ive over­reach.

See video of Goitein’s testi­mony here. Her writ­ten testi­mony is also avail­able below.

The Bren­nan Center has cata­logued the powers avail­able during a national emer­gency and their uses over time. For more inform­a­tion, see our guide to emer­gency powers and our running list of declared national emer­gen­cies.

Testi­mony on Reform­ing Emer­gency Powers before the House Commit­tee on the Judi­ciary by The Bren­nan Center for Justice on Scribd