16 states sue to block Trump from 'unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds' for fake border emergency


“Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement Monday about the lawsuit California and 15 other states filed to block Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration. The states are suing Trump, Becerra said, ”to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states.”

The 16-state lawsuit does point out that the national emergency declaration uses a “pretext of a manufactured ‘crisis,’” with “no national emergency at the southern border that warrants construction of a wall.” Trump’s comment that “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster” is likely to figure prominently in showing that even he doesn’t truly consider it an emergency.

But legal experts suggest that the courts are likely to defer to a sitting president’s analysis of national security, with NPR’s Nina Totenberg writing that “The big, ultimate constitutional question, however, is this: Does the president have the constitutional power to ignore a congressional vote that did not provide him all the money he wanted for a Southern border wall?”

California is joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia in suing.

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