Wall Street Journal editorial: Conservatives 'could live to regret' Trump emergency declaration

Editors at The Wall Street Journal warned Friday that Republicans could end up with regrets if President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE declares a national emergency to get his funding for a border wall, warning that Democrats could then use the measure "whenever it is politically expedient."

In an editorial, the conservative newspaper's staff warned that such a decision would likely open the door to future use of national emergency declarations by Democrats, including on issues such as gun violence and climate change.

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"If Mr. Trump did win in court, a President Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE might take the precedent as license to circumvent Congress whenever it is politically expedient," the editorial warned. "Rising carbon emissions or even income inequality could be declared national emergencies."

The newspaper went on to argue that Trump would be on sounder legal footing than his predecessor, former President Obama, was when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was implemented by executive order, but that the president should not use a national emergency to fulfill a "campaign promise."

"While President Trump may be on sounder legal footing than President Obama was when he legalized millions of undocumented immigrants, he would still be spending scarce military funds to essentially fulfill a campaign promise," the editorial continued.

Trump visited the border Thursday as a partial shutdown of the federal government, which stems from a dispute between the White House and Congress over border wall funding, stretched into its 21st day.

The president reiterated his demands for a wall while on the trip, hinting that he could go around Congress and declare a national emergency soon.

“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t we might go that route,” the president said a day before, during a bill signing in the Oval Office.

“This is about the people of our country, and we have to do what’s right at our border and many other places,” he added at the time. "They say it's a medieval solution, a wall. It's true because it worked then and it works even better now."