President Donald Trump is being sued by California and 15 other states over his decision to declare a national emergency and circumvent Congress to secure funding for a border wall.
Trump’s emergency declaration unconstitutionally redirects federal money that Congress had set aside for other purposes, the state alleged.
The president declared a national emergency Friday after the lawmakers sent him a appropriations bill that included just $1.375 billion for the wall, a fraction of the $5.7 billion he initially requested.
The Trump administration intends to secure an additional $6.6 billion to construct a 234-mile barrier along the US southern border, as the president promised during the 2016 campaign, through the emergency declaration.
California’s Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra blasted Trump for exceeding presidential authority by declaring the emergency.
“President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt,” Becerra argued. “He knows there is no border crisis, he knows his emergency declaration is unwanted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court.”
When declaring the emergency, Trump warned Friday his opponents will attempt to obstruct his move to secure the border with lawsuits. The president predicted the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuity will block his move, but his emergency declaration would ultimately survive a court challenge and should “possibly the easiest one to win” because of a “virtual invasion” along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“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,” Trump told reporters in the White House Rose Garden. “I think we will be very successful in court.”
California filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of California, where appeals are heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia, all states whose attorneys general are Democrats, joined California in the lawsuit.