16 states have filed suit against the White House this weekend claiming that President Trump has unconstitutionally declared a national emergency.
According to Fox News, Attorneys General from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia are seeking an injunction in California’s Ninth Circuit Court to prevent the President from reallocating funds without “explicit Congressional approval” to build the southern border wall.
The litigation notes that the above states are taking up suit against the President for his “flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution,” referencing the Presentment and Appropriations clauses in the Constitution.
The suit continues claiming that President Trump “manufactured” the crisis at the border in order to get the wall built. The suit reads, “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.”
The states are not only seeking to stop the transfer of the funds, but they are also working to find the President’s declaration illegal and are accusing him of violating regulations laid out in the National Environmental Policy Act.
California laid out its grievances saying that the re-appropriation of funds from anti-drug and narcotics programs will be detrimental to the state.
“California is aggrieved by the actions of Defendants and had standing to bring this action because of the injury due to the loss of federal drug interdiction, counter-narcotic, and law-enforcement funding of the State caused by Defendants’ diversion of funding. The threat of losing funding to conduct drug interdiction and counter-narcotic activity prevents California from moving forward with critical criminal narcotics programs and threatens the public safety of all Californians,” the lawsuit reads.
“The diversion of funding from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund will harm public safety by impacting critically necessary funding for law enforcement officers and their agencies,” it continues.
Colorado noted in the suit that the action could harm the state’s economy and the dozens of military bases located there. The suit reads, “Colorado is home to many major military bases, including the Air Force Academy, Buckley Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, and Fort Carson Army Base. These military bases play a critical role in our nation’s defense and to the economy of the State of Colorado. The use of funding for a southern border wall rather than for necessary maintenance and repairs to these military bases harms Colorado and its economy.”
Each state notes similar sentiments to California and Colorado, many of them focusing on the re-direction of funds away from drug and narcotics prevention.
According to Fox News, a senior member of the Trump administration shared that the White House is planning to move $8 billion already appropriated for other projects including drug interdiction money from the Defense Department. The emergency declaration could allow President Trump to move up to $3 billion, $600 million of which would come from the Treasury Department’s forfeiture fund.
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