THE news of President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration has now reached a legal challenge in the form of a lawsuit on Monday, Feb. 18 led by the attorneys general of 16 states including California.
The states claim that the president’s efforts in redirecting federal dollars for the $5.7 billion-wall at the United States-Mexico border by way of national emergency are “unlawful and unconstitutional” according to the lawsuit.
The State of California — led by CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra — filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of California in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday and plans to take the administration to court to stop the president from utilizing the powers provided by a national emergency declaration.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump has special powers that could divert taxpayer funds from other federal budgets to pay for the construction of the wall.
“Today, on Presidents’ Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power,” Becerra said in a statement, adding that Trump is “willing to manipulate the Office of the Presidency to engage in unconstitutional theater performed to convince his audience that he is committed to his ‘beautiful border wall.’”
“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.”
The plaintiffs allege that Trump’s justification for the national emergency is rooted in the paranoia of a “hyped crisis,” according to Becerra. Previously, Trump and his administration have maintained that the number of prospective immigrants arriving at the southern border from Central America are a threat to national security.
“Unlawful southern border entries are at their lowest point in 20 years, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry,” Becerra explained.
On Friday, Feb. 15 when Trump officially announced the national emergency at the White House, Trump indicated that he’s not backing down and is ready and willing to take the issue up to the Supreme Court if need be.
“They will sue us in the 9th Circuit,” the president told reporters at the White House Rose Garden. “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.”
In addition to California, the 15 other states suing the administration include Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.
As previously reported by the Asian Journal, Trump’s declaration of a national emergency came at the heels of an agreement between the White House and Congress to stop a second government shutdown.
Friday’s government spending bill included $1.375 billion for the wall and border security, but that fell short of the $5.7 billion he requested. (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)