California and 15 other states filed a lawsuit Monday against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a statement Monday saying the suit alleges the Trump administration’s action violates the Constitution.
“President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt,” Becerra said. “He knows there is no border crisis, he knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court.”
Joining California in filing the lawsuit are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia. All the states involved in the lawsuit have Democratic attorneys general.
President Trump declared a national emergency to fulfill his promise of completing the wall. The move allows the president to bypass Congress to use money from the Pentagon and other budgets.
But declaring a national emergency isn’t new — in fact, the use of emergency powers is older than the country itself.
The states say diversion of military funding to wall-building will hurt their economies and deprive their military bases of needed upgrades. They say taking away funds from counter-drug efforts for the wall will also cause damage. California and New Mexico, the two Mexican border states in the lawsuit, say the wall will harm wildlife.
California has repeatedly challenged Trump in court.
“President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up ‘national emergency’ in order to seize power and undermine the Constitution,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a statement. “This ’emergency’ is a national disgrace.”
President Trump has repeatedly claimed that his opponents would file litigation there, and he predicted on Friday that the appeals court would rule against him.
“They will sue us in the 9th Circuit,” Trump told reporters in the White House Rose Garden 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.”