Friday, May 12, 2006

Current mood: exanimate

Seventy-one degrees and sunny.

As I listen out my window, I hear: a lawnmower, the barking of a dog, and the chirping of a bird. Folks, this is not good for America. How are we to unite against the forces of evil when we are constantly distracted by pleasantries?

I ought to be hearing the slamming of doors, the racking of shotguns, the shrieking of women, and the whimpering of children. These are the sounds of an America uniting against a common enemy.

50 U.S.C. Chapter 34: National Emergencies Act

50 U.S.C. 1621. Declaration of national emergency by President; publication in Federal Register; effect on other laws; superseding legislation


(a) With respect to Acts of Congress authorizing the exercise, during the period of a national emergency, of any special or extraordinary power, the President is authorized to declare such national emergency. Such proclamation shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.
(b) Any provisions of law conferring powers and authorities to be exercised during a national emergency shall be effective and remain in effect (1) only when the President (in accordance with subsection (a) of this section), specifically declares a national emergency, and (2) only in accordance with this chapter. No law enacted after September 14, 1976, shall supersede this subchapter unless it does so in specific terms, referring to this subchapter, and declaring that the new law supersedes the provisions of this subchapter.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the blogosphere, I’m writing to remind you that our nation is in a state of emergency–sixteen times over. This is the list of National Emergencies currently in effect, along with the powers that the Executive has asserted to deal with each. May God have mercy on us all.

Declared: May 12, 2004
Continued: May 8, 2006

In Effect Through: May 12, 2007
National Emergency to block Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria
Executive Orders: 13338, 13399
In Effect Through: March 7, 2007
National Emergency to Block Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe
Executive Orders: 13288, 13391
In Effect Through: January 24, 2007
National Emergency to Prohibit Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process
Executive Orders: 12947, 13099
In Effect Through: March 4, 2007
National Emergency Relating to Cuba and of the Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels
Proclamations: 6867, 7757
In Effect Through: November 14, 2006
National Emergency to Block Iranian Government Property
Executive Order: 12170

In Effect Through: November 14, 2006

National Emergency Regarding the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
Executive Orders: 12851, 12924

, 12938, 13094, 13382
In Effect Through: November 4, 2006

National Emergency to Block Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan
Executive Order: 13067







October 19, 2005

In Effect Through: October 22, 2006

National Emergency to Block Assets and Prohibit Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers
Executive Order: 12978




September 21, 2005

In Effect Through: September 24, 2006

National Emergency to Block Property and Prohibit Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism
Executive Order: 13224




September 8, 2005

In Effect Through: September 14, 2006

National Emergency By Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks
Proclamation: 7463
Executive Orders: 13223, 13235, 13253, 13286




July 19, 2005

In Effect Through: July 23, 2006

National Emergency To Block Property of Certain Persons and Prohibit the Importation of Certain Goods from Liberia
Executive Order: 13348




June 23, 2005

In Effect Through: June 27, 2006

National Emergency to Block Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans
Executive Orders: 13219, 13304




June 17, 2005

In Effect Through: June 22, 2006

National Emergency to Block Property of the Government of the Russian Federation Relating to the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted From Nuclear Weapons
Executive Order: 13159




May 19, 2005

In Effect Through: May 22, 2006
National Emergency To Protect the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has an Interest
Executive Orders: 13290, 13303, 13315, 13350, 13364









May 17, 2005

In Effect Through: May 21, 2006
National Emergency To Prohibit New Investment in Burma

Executive Order: 13047, 13310



5:32 PM – 3 Comments – 4 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove

Are you trying to collect kudos from me? (^.^)

These “national emergencies” are hardly emergencies at all. I’d like to propose a “National emergency against too many intrusive federal laws.” I mean, National Emergency To Prohibit New Investment in Burma? That’s not a “National Emergency!” Maybe these could better be classified as “Global situations.” How about a “National Emergency” because of the disruptions in New Orleans or something like that?

For the record my pistol is kept cocked and locked but only for the “National Emergency” of an authoritarian/facist government that knows no bounds and does not heed the constitution upon which it was founded.

Posted by Nik on Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 12:43 PM
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Many of these situations, like the ones with respect to Burma and Sudan, are rightly “International Emergencies,” and Congress did encact legislation that confers upon president certain powers during International Emergencies. I’ve only listed the powers, I haven’t fully assessed them. Hopefully the president is making a prudent, restrained use of his powers to deal with these international emergencies.

To make the president somewhat accountable for what he does during emergencies, the legislation calls for consultation and reports. What I’d like to see, though, and what I haven’t seen upon my preliminary perusal, is some sort of congressional challenge provision through which congress can challenge the president on his declarations of emergencies, and perhaps overturn them by way of some sort of vote.

Some of these emergencies, like the one regarding “proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” are quite important, but their permanence belies the term “emergency”. If these emergency presidential powers are to remain as permanent as the problems they are intended to mitigate, then they ought to be codified through congressional legislation.

I like how we’ve been in a constant state of emergency with respect to Iran since 1979. Who knew? I bet if I asked about it, they’d tell me to thank the CIA, the DIA, NSA and the Dept. of Homeland Security for keeping America safe. Thanks guys! Thanks for keeping us safe from “Iranian government property”!

Which brings me to my next point, which is that some emergencies, like one regarding “significant narcotics traffickers”, are ridiculous on their face. As power grabbed to forward an already wrongheaded drug prohibition policy, this is the easiest one to laugh at.

On September 8th, 2005, President Bush issued Proclamation 7924, declaring a National Emergency due to Hurricane Katrina that suspended minimum wage laws in the area to reduce costs while reconstruction efforts were under way. This proclamation was revoked by Proclamation 7959 of November 3, 2005.

Posted by Tim on Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 5:16 PM
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I agree with you, Tim, in the use of the word emergency. As you aptly pointed out, we have been in a state of emergency regarding Iran (or Iranian property) since 1979. If an emergency has been around nearly as long as I have, can we really call it an emergency anymore or rather should we term it everyday normal life.I guess I am more echoing what you where stating, Tim. If it is an emergency then it should have a limited life to it. During this time, congress could look at the issue and determine as to whether or not a bill or law should be made to govern such actions.

Oh and I like the mention of the Proclamation 7924. How does suspending minimum wage laws help us as a nation? Sounds like bullshit to me! Sounds like it is a way to help curb government expenditure (since when has this administration been concerned about going more into debt?) and is rather a way to oppress people rather than help give people meaningful, decently compensated work.

All in all, nice blog. Thanks for the enlightenment. I am glad to see that you are on your way to be a lawyer.

Posted by Russell on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 6:53 PM
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Declared: March 16, 1995
Continued: March 13, 2006


In Effect Through: March 16, 2007
National Emergency to Prohibit Certain Transactions With Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources
Executive Orders:
12957, 12959, 13059


Declared: March 7, 2003
Continued: February 27, 2006


Declared: January 24, 1995
Continued: January 18, 2006


Declared: March 4, 1996
Continued: January 10, 2006



  • 50 U.S.C. 1702: International Emergency Economic Powers
  • 50 U.S.C. 191: Regulation of Anchorage and Movement of Vessels During National Emergency 


Declared: November 14, 1979
Continued: November 9, 2005



Declared: November 14, 1994
Continued: October 25, 2005



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