On Friday, Mr.Trump declared a national emergency in hopes of obtaining funding for a wall along the border of the U.S. and Mexico, but there are still some big challenges ahead before the project could actually become a reality.
As of Monday, 16 states have come together to challenge Trump’s emergency declaration in court.
According to The New York Times:
‘The lawsuit is part of a constitutional confrontation that Mr. Trump set off on Friday when he declared that he would spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than Congress had granted him. The clash raises questions over congressional control of spending, the scope of emergency powers granted to the president, and how far the courts are willing to go to settle such a dispute.’
The suit was filed in federal district court in San Francisco, and argues that the president does not have the power to divert funds for constructing a wall along the Mexican border because it is Congress that controls spending.
The attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra, pointed out that Mr. Trump even said in his own words that the situation was not an emergency.
‘I didn’t need to do this, but i’d rather do it much faster.’
According to The Times:
‘The lawsuit, California et al. v. Trump et al., says that the plaintiff states are going to court to protect their residents, natural resources and economic interests.’
The lawsuit states:
‘Contrary to the will of Congress, the president has used the pretext of a manufactured “crisis” of unlawful immigration to declare a national emergency and redirect federal dollars appropriated for drug interdiction, military construction and law enforcement initiatives toward building a wall on the United States-Mexico border.’
Congress may also challenge the president’s declaration as well, and has several options for doing so. One would be for the House of Representatives to bring a lawsuit of its own.
Congress could also override Trump’s emergency declaration, but it is doubtful that they would have the votes to override Trump’s likely veto. So, it would seem that court is a better option given the probable outcome.
The states joining the lawsuit include California, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia.
Maryland is the only state challenging the declaration that has a Republican governor, and most of the other state legislatures are controlled by Democrats.
Mr. Trump’s words – “I didn’t need to do this” – could come to haunt him though as they are most likely words that will be used in court in the coming days.
Trump’s emergency plan to build the wall would take $600 million from the Treasury Department, $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense’s drug interdiction program and $3.5 billion from military construction funds.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement:
‘Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.’
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
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