Obama Extends Bush 9/11 National Emergency
Quote:U.S. President Barack Obama has extended the state of emergency put in place by President George W. Bush following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue.
President Obama says consistent with this provision, he has sent a notice to the Federal Register stating that the emergency declared with respect to the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, is to continue for an additional year.
He said the terrorist threat that led to President Bush declaring a national emergency on September 14, 2001 continues, and for this reason it is necessary to continue the national emergency in effect after September 14, 2009.
"Consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States," the President said.
The National Emergencies Act of 1976 eliminated or modified some statutory grants of emergency authority and required the President to declare formally the existence of a national emergency and to specify what statutory authority, activated by the declaration, would be used. It also provided Congress a means to countermand the President's declaration and the activated authority being sought.
In a paper prepared for Congress a specialist in American National Government, Harold C. Relyea, said Federal law provides a variety of powers for the President to use in response to crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances threatening the nation.
Mr Relyea said when the President formally declares a national emergency, he may "seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens."
However he says there are limits and restraints upon the President in his exercise of emergency powers.
"With the exception of the habeas corpus clause, the Constitution makes no allowance for the suspension of any of its provisions during a national emergency. Disputes over the constitutionality or legality of the exercise of emergency powers are judicially reviewable. Indeed, both the judiciary and Congress, as co-equal branches, can restrain the executive regarding emergency powers. So can public opinion," he wrote.
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