The Bush administration is writing a new plan to maintain governmental control in the wake of an attack or overwhelming natural disaster, moving such doomsday planning for the first time from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to officials inside the White House.
The policy makes no reference to Congressional checks and balances on the president’s power to impose martial law or other extraordinary measures. Nor does it acknowledge the National Emergencies Act, a law that gives Congress the right to override the president’s determination. Instead. the Bush team is pushing controversial theory that the Constitution gives the president an unwritten power to disobey laws at his own discretion.