California Attorney General Leads State Lawsuit Over National Emergency Declaration
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging Donald Trump's national emergency declaration. "We're going to try to halt the president from violating the Constitution, the separation of powers, from stealing money from Americans and states that has been allocated by Congress, lawfully," Becerra said in an interview with CNN. The state Attorneys General of 15 other states have joined the lawsuit being led by the former Congressman, including fellow former Congressman MN AG Keith Ellison, NV AG Aaron Ford, NJ AG Gurbir Grewal, NY AG Letitia James, IL AG Kwame Raoul, and CT AG William Tong. New Mexico Governor Michelle Luján Grisham, also a former member of Congress, announced that she and state Attorney General Héctor Balderas had also joined the Becerra suit. Trump crossed a major threshold on Friday, declaring a national emergency at the southern border in order to take money allocated for other purposes and use it to build his much-ballyhooed wall. At the core of the lawsuit is the argument that Trump is circumventing Congress to fund the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border by declaring an emergency. Becerra argues that the states have standing to challenge Trump because money appropriated to them might be at risk. "If the president is essentially stealing money that's been allocated to go to the various states for various purposes but no longer will, we're being harmed, our people are being harmed," he said. Trump, who seeks to re-allocate $6.5 billion from other government programs to pay for 234 miles of steel fencing along the southern border, said he expected to be sued and anticipated the Supreme Court would ultimately decide the case. The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit over the weekend, and the advocacy group Public Citizen also filed a lawsuit on behalf of three Texas landowners and an environmental group. The ACLU also said it was preparing a lawsuit claiming that Trump doesn’t have the authority to redirect taxpayer money to build a wall. More here.