16 States Unite And File Lawsuit To Block Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

Central American immigrants approach the U.S.-Mexico border fence after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico on February 01, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.
John Moore / Getty Images

A coalition of 16 states filed suit on Monday to block Donald Trump’s emergency declaration seeking billions of dollars to fund his border wall. According to a report from the Hill, a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday as part of a larger battle over the president’s right to appropriate funds that were denied to him by Congress.

Trump declared a national emergency on February 15 in order to secure $8 billion in order to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border after unsuccessfully shutting down the government in order to force Congress to give him the funds he required.

Immediately, the move was met with pushback from people across the aisle and several groups have either filed suit or said that they intend to. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is mulling its own lawsuit or to override the declaration, which Trump would likely veto. Public Citizen filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to block the declaration’s power to seize land for the wall, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the Justice Department to block the declaration.

Now, 16 states are joining together in a lawsuit called California et al. v. Trump et al. as part of the building constitutional confrontation. The states involved in the case are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia, almost all of which are either controlled by a Democratic governor or legislature. The states say that the president has ‘manufactured’ the emergency to take funds that might otherwise be used to fund initiatives within their own borders.

Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, said on ABC’s This Week that he doesn’t believe the situation at the border constitutes an actual national emergency. He said the best evidence of this is that the president claimed as much himself during his speech declaring the emergency. In the speech, Trump admitted that he didn’t have to make the declaration, but was choosing to in order to speed things along.

“He did not have to call this an emergency,” Becerra said. “It’s become clear that this is not an emergency, not only because no one believes it is, but because Donald Trump himself has said it’s not.”

“He has also said he knows he’s going to lose in court,” he said. “And he’s hoping that he can count on a conservative court in the Supreme Court to give him a victory because he knows he’s going to lose all the way up the ladder of the federal court system.”

Trump’s national emergency declaration was met with protests across the country on President’s Day.