What is a national emergency — and does it mean Trump can build his wall? Presidents have declared dozens of emergencies, but none like Trump’s. Trump’s emergency declaration is the first since 9/11 to authorize military action. Trump declared a national emergency at the border — Sean Illing asked 11 experts if it’s legal (and more). Does Trump really have “absolute power” to declare a national emergency? Let’s examine the statute. Presidents have no extra-constitutional powers during real emergencies, much less fictitious ones (and more). Yascha Mounk on how national emergencies are for autocrats. Jaden Adams on states of emergence. The wall isn’t a state of emergency but a state of exception.

From Lawfare, what authorities is President Trump using to build a border wall?; Jack Goldsmith on what is and isn’t a big deal in Trump’s executive actions related to the border; and Robert Chesney on judicial deference and the inevitable border emergency litigation. The courts will likely let Trump declare an “emergency”, even if it’s made up. A state of unreality: Trump’s emergency declaration is going to run into four hurdles. Trump’s national emergency just got its first legal challenge. Li Zhou and Emily Stewart on 5 ways Trump’s national emergency declaration could be stopped. Why does Trump still want the wall so badly? Erik Klemetti on the geologic nature of our borders.