Challenges against President Donald Trump's authority to issue a national emergency order about the border will "lose in a spectacular fashion," as a 1976 ruling gave presidents "virtually unfettered authority" to declare an emergency, legal expert Jonathan Turley said Friday.
He added that a challenge on funding also won't work.
"They are using the case where I represented the House of Representatives against Obamacare," Turley told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "We won. This is not the same case."
President Barack Obama had ordered the Treasury to open up for insurance companies, and that is a "different type of funding," said Turley.
Trump, however, plans to start wall construction with the $1.375 billion for barrier construction approved in the government funding bill, said Turley, and he hopes the House is not "foolish enough" to file legal action as an entire body.
Money in the bill for border barriers, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed to build a wall along the Mexican boundary and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted. The White House said he'd sign the legislation but act on his own to get the rest, a move that prompted immediate condemnation from Democrats and threats of lawsuits from states and others who might lose federal money or said Trump was abusing his authority.
Late Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Trump plans to unilaterally shift nearly $7 billion in additional federal funds to construct physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, a maneuver that risks provoking a lengthy legal battle over presidential powers.
"They could lose that important victory that we secured not that long ago," said Turley. "They don't have to do that. They can go down to the Texas border, find some rancher that will be subject to seizure of their land. Those people have standing."
But the important thing is, "if Congress goes in front of the court and says we want you to stop this, the court is going to say 'whoa, whoa, whoa,'" said Turley. "'You, first of all, gave this authority to the president without many conditions. You gave this money without many limitations. More importantly when you passed this act. You gave yourself the right to rescind it. To reject it. So you are coming to me to do something that you could do but you don't have the votes. And that's not normally what we do here in the judiciary branch.'"
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