Sunday, April 25, 2010

National Emergency Powers

For the last time before his retirement, Mr. Harold Relyea of the CRS published an update to his report on National Emergency Powers. Prompted in part by the debate and discussion leading to passage and signing into law of the National Emergency Act of 1976, a procedural not a substantive statute, the President now asserting some form of authority pursuant to a declared National Emergency must publish and Executive Order and indicate which statute he is asserting authority under and why. That report is available on both OPEN CRS and from this blogger.

In addition, the first and only collection of laws triggered by National Emergencies was published by a Congressional Committee in 1962. I find that document helpful in determining what emergency authority historically has been asserted by past Presidents. That document is also available from this blogger.

Perhaps one of the major exceptions to the National Emergency Act of 1976 is the declaration of emergency provision of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Act Public Law 100-707 as amended. I believe that authority should also be covered by the procedures of the National Emergency Act of 1976.