National Emergencies Act
The National Emergencies Act (Pub.L. 94–412, 90 Stat. 1255, enacted September 14, 1976, codified at 50 U.S.C. § 1601-1651) is a United States federal law passed to stop open-ended states of national emergency and formalize the power of Congress to provide certain checks and balances on the emergency powers of the President. The act sets a limit of two years on states of national emergency. It also imposes certain "procedural formalities" on the President when invoking such powers.
The perceived need for the law arose from the scope and number of laws granting special powers to the executive in times of national emergency (or public danger).
At least two constitutional rights are subject to revocation during a state of emergency:
- The right of habeas corpus, under Article 1, Section 9;
- The right to a grand jury for members of the National Guard when in actual service, under Fifth Amendment.
In addition, many provisions of statutory law are contingent on a state of national emergency, as many as 500 by one count.
It was due in part to concern that a declaration of "emergency" for one purpose should not invoke every possible executive emergency power that Congress in 1976 passed the National Emergencies Act. Among other provisions, this act requires the President to declare formally a national emergency and to specify the statutory authorities to be used under such a declaration.
There were 32 declared national emergencies between 1976 and 2001.  Most of these were for the purpose of restricting trade with certain foreign entities under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) (50 U.S.C. 1701-1707).
Long-lasting states of emergency 
While the National Emergencies Act places a time limit on the duration of states of emergency, several states of emergency have been extended multiple times, effectively creating indefinite states of emergency in particular areas. For example, a state of emergency with respect to Iran, originally declared by Jimmy Carter on November 14, 1979 during the Iranian hostage crisis, has been continuously renewed for over thirty years, most recently by Barack Obama in November 2012. There is evidence that shows in a national emergency, all three branches of government formally agree that in such a state, the three branches of government take whatever necessary measures.
See also 
- Continuity of Government Plan
- National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive
- Rex 84
- Reichstag Fire Decree
- Anti-War, 2010 Sept. 11, "Obama Extends Bush’s 9/11 State of Emergency: America to Enter Tenth Year of 'Emergency' Next Week," http://news.antiwar.com/2010/09/10/obama-announces-state-of-emergency-extension/
- F.J. Murray, "Wartime Presidential Powers Supersede Liberties," Washington Times, Sept. 18, 2001, pp. A1, A12, as quoted in Ref. 2.
- H.C. Relyea, "Martial Law and National Emergency", Congressional Research Service Report for Congress RS21024, updated January 7, 2005: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RS21024.pdf.
- H.C. Relyea, "National Emergency Powers", Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, order code 98-505 GOV, updated September 18, 2001: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/6216.pdf.
- H.C. Relyea, "National Emergency Powers", Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, order code 98-505 GOV, updated November 13, 2006: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/98-505.pdf.
- "Toward Comprensive Reform of America's Emergency Law Regime," including compendium of national emergency powers