Wed, Feb 20, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

People protest against US President Donald Trump in New York on Monday after the president declared a national emergency to build the border wall.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Sixteen US states on Monday sued US President Donald Trump’s administration over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution.

Trump announced the emergency on Friday last week in order to bypass Congress, which approved only a quarter of the US$5.6 billion he wanted for the wall in a spending bill.

However, the lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president’s order was contrary to the constitution’s presentment and appropriations clauses, which outline legislative procedures and define Congress as the final arbiter of public funds respectively.

The move had already been announced by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who on Sunday said his state and others had legal standing, because they risked losing money intended for military projects, disaster assistance and other purposes.

Critics, including several senators from Trump’s Republican Party, have warned that he has opened the door for future presidents to call on the act whenever they fail to get their way with Congress.

Should the states prevail, the case could work its way up to the Supreme Court, setting up a precedent-setting showdown on the separation of powers.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia are party to the complaint seeking an injunction.

The states “bring this action to protect their residents, natural resources, and economic interests from President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution,” the complaint said.

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