Immigration

States File Lawsuit to Stop Trump’s Fake Emergency

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

A large group of states led by California filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday to challenge Trump's decision to declare a "national emergency" and order the military to divert funds from other projects to build Trump's fantasy border wall.

The states' rationale for challenging Trump's order is relatively simple and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra made it quite clear.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A coalition of 16 U.S. states led by California sued President Donald Trump and top members of his administration on Monday to block his decision to declare a national emergency to obtain funds for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. [...]

We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states. For most of us, the office of the presidency is not a place for theater,” added Becerra, a Democrat.

The White House declined to comment on the filing.

The group of states challenging Trump's order in court includes Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Michigan, and California.

These states represent a significant portion of the nation's population and contribute the bulk of taxpayers funds received by the Treasury and appropriated by Congress. These states elect representatives whose duty is to decide how their tax dollars and used and Trump is fundamentally challenging that relationship by redirecting money appropriated by Congress to his own personal vanity project.

This lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. There's a relatively good chance that Trump's order will be temporarily blocked by the lower district court and eventually the court of appeals, but the Supreme Court is another matter.

I believe the best case scenario for blocking Trump's order to build a wall is to delay it long enough for a Democratic president to take office and rescind the order.

Even if Trump's order isn't blocked in court, a Democratic president could cancel the project which could take as long as 10 years to finish building by some estimates.

  • muselet

    I know I’ve said this before in other contexts, but it’s at times like this I’m proud to be a Californian.

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      I hope Maura Healey (AG of Massachusetts) jumps on this train. She’s weighing the option and has not yet made a determination. As blue as Mass is I’m surprised any weighing needs to be done.

      • muselet

        The decision will obviously depend on state political considerations (will this cost anyone an election?), budget (does the AG’s office have the cash on hand for a protracted fight?) and scheduling (are there enough staff attorneys and support staff to take this on?).

        That said, my money says Massachusetts joins the lawsuit.

        –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    Maybe we have this approach all wrong. What do you think the Repubs reaction would be if we, the Dems, said “you know, you’re right. We can’t do anything at all to stop this. A president can have any reason at all to declare an emergency. Guess we are just powerless!” You think they’d stop him then? Would they be so scared a Dem president would just go nuts with it? Unfortunately we simply have to “do the right thing.” We have to fight this. But..he’s opened the door. There are real emergencies..like guns and gun deaths, like healthcare and prescription prices, like the environment concerning not just climate change but pollution. Like antibiotic resistance..that’s a real, and real scary emergency. We can’t be afraid next time to use the power. They’ve stolen court seats, appointed partisan tools, cheated, stolen..sheesh..I’d better stop. You get my drift..

    • stacib23

      I was thinking about this earlier. You know, I think my feelings of defeat date back to the Republicans stealing Obama’s SC pick, and somehow convincing many in this country they were right. They gave up any relationship with right and wrong on election day, 2008.

  • katanahamon

    Hypocrisy? Hello, anyone remember the word? Do we need a new word? One maybe exponentially stronger to describe the Republican Party that could criticize a “dictator” that had the audacity to wear tan pants yet support this, a wanton trashing of the constitution and anything resembling governmental or presidential norms? We’ve really just gone through the looking glass and shattered it behind us..geez.

  • gescove

    I can’t wrap my head around the Republicans in Congress willing to support Rump on his asinine emergency declaration. After all their caterwauling about executive overreach, supporting the military, the use of eminent domain, and the scourge of illicit drugs over the years. Now they favor of executive fiat in circumvention of Article 1 Section 9, reassigning Pentagon funds already appropriated (for projects in their own effing districts!!) for a vanity project, green-lighting wholesale seizures of private property along the border, and actually taking money away from effing drug interdiction programs. Pathetic.

    • stacib23

      Whatever Putin has on trump probably pales in comparison to whatever he has on Lindsey Graham. I always thought Graham took kissing up to a different degree, but he went from never trump to that’s my best bud. WTF