Last week, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border of the United States in order to secure funding for a border wall. And it didn't take long for states to respond.
Yesterday, 16 states filed a lawsuit against Trump and his administration, asking a federal court in California to declare the emergency declaration unlawful and unconstitutional, and to block any diversion of federal funds for border wall construction. You can read that suit below.
A Constitutional Crisis?
"President Trump has veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making," according to the lawsuit, which was filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on behalf of the attorneys general for Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia. The suit claims Congress has consistently rebuffed the president's attempts to secure border wall funding, and, in any case, the wall isn't necessary:
There is also no objective basis for President Trump's Emergency Declaration. By the President's own admission, an emergency declaration is not necessary. The federal government's own data prove there is no national emergency at the southern border that warrants construction of a wall. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") data show that unlawful entries are near 45-year lows. The State Department recognizes there is a lack of credible evidence that terrorists are using the southern border to enter the United States. Federal data confirm that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than are native-born Americans. CBP data demonstrate that dangerous drugs are much more likely to be smuggled through, not between, official ports of entry -- rendering a border wall ineffectual at preventing their entry into this country.
State of Opposition
Notably, not all the states along the U.S.-Mexico border joined the lawsuit, and some of those that did are pretty far away. Arizona and Texas are not part of the suit, but Wisconsin, Maine, and even Hawaii are. Those states claim that federal funds diverted to the wall will drain resources from other, more important projects, mostly other military construction efforts.
President Trump himself anticipated litigation on the issue. "They will sue us in the 9th Circuit," Trump said on Friday. "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." How long that process will take, and whether Congress will act in blocking the emergency declaration, is anyone's guess.
Here is the lawsuit, in full:
States v Trump Broder Emerg... by on Scribd