Emory Law Journal


This Article makes the case for streamlining emergency declaration authority and creating an adaptable legal system. Part I describes the utility of emergency declarations, but gives examples of how that utility can be diminished when states divide specific emergency powers across various types of declarations. Part II explores gubernatorial emergency powers to suspend or waive laws as an adaptable solution for removing legal barriers to an efficient and effective emergency response. These arguments demonstrate that a streamlined and adaptable state legal system for emergency response is one that (1) provides a governor with the authority to issue one type of emergency declaration, (2) does not divide vital authorities across various declaration types, and (3) provides a governor with the unilateral power to remove statutory and regulatory barriers to an effective response.