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Why This National Emergency Is Unprecedented19:23
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President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Since Congress passed the National Emergencies Act in 1976, presidents have declared more than four dozen national emergencies. As of today, 31 of those emergencies are still active. Yet many experts still believe that President Trump's declaration of emergency on Friday is unprecedented. We talk with one historian who explains why this use of power could have serious long-term effects on our democracy.

Guest

Heather Cox Richardson, professor of history at Boston College and author of "To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party." She tweets @HC_Richardson.

This segment aired on February 18, 2019.

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