Trump National Emergency Declaration Hit With First Lawsuit

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on border security during a Rose Garden event at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Liberal advocacy group Public Citizen filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging President Donald Trump’s declaration of national emergency, the Hill reports.

Public Citizen filed the lawsuit on behalf of three Texas landowners and the Frontera Audubon Society. In a press release, the organization accused Trump of violating the Constitution.

“The complaint urges the court to find that Trump exceeded his constitutional authority and authority under the National Emergencies Act, and to hold that the declaration violates the doctrine of separation of powers that is so central to our Constitution.”

The advocacy group added that the court should bar the president and the Department of Defense from declaring a national emergency and allocating funds for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to the Hill, this lawsuit is likely the first of many to come. As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, legal action against the president does not come as a surprise given that many have predicted that Trump declaring a national emergency to fulfill one of his key campaign promises would result in multiple legal battles.

Experts remain divided on the issue, however, with some arguing that Trump is acting within the confines of the Constitution and others claiming that the president is violating it. Even some of the president’s Republican colleagues expressed concern, arguing that declaring national emergency would set a dangerous precedent.

But on February 16, as the Guardian reported, Trump declared a national emergency in an effort to allocate funding for the expensive border project.

“I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster,” Trump said, prompting even more controversy. This statement alone, according to the Washington Post, defeated the very idea that there is actually an emergency at the border. It will have no impact on legal battles that await the White House, however.

The controversial decision came following the longest and most expensive government shutdown in United States history, and subsequent negotiations between the two parties.

More lawsuits against the president are expected, but he appears unfazed. Speaking to reporters outside the White House, the president acknowledged the possibility, predicting that the matter will eventually be resolved in the Supreme Court.

“We will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court,” he said.

It is not only advocacy groups and landowners that pose a legal threat to the president. As the Hill notes, the House Judiciary Committee announced an investigation, arguing that Trump’s declaration shows “disregard” for the separation of powers.