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It's Lawsuit Time

Public Citizen files the first federal suit over Trump's national emergency
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2019 12:50 PM CST
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – In case you left Earth recently, President Trump has declared a national emergency to free up funds for his border wall. And now, as he predicted, lawsuits are on their way. The first one comes from the liberal non-profit Public Citizen, which says there's no actual emergency at the border, and Trump's declaration undermines the separation of powers because Congress already said no to wall money: "...A disagreement between the President and Congress about how to spend money does not constitute an emergency authorizing unilateral executive action," the group argues, per BuzzFeed. Three of the lawsuit's four plaintiffs are landowners who were told by the federal government that parts of the wall are slated for their properties.

A fourth plaintiff, the Frontera Audubon Society, says the wall would hurt habitat in the Rio Grande valley. The American Civil Liberties Union also plans to sue, per CBS News, and so does California Gov. Gavin Newsom: "Donald Trump, we'll see you in court," he said Friday, NPR reports. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra echoed a widespread concern in his response to Trump's move: "President Trump got one thing right this morning about his declaration when he said, 'I didn't have to do this,'" said Becerra. "He's right. He didn't have to do this. In fact, he can't do this." The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed its own lawsuit claiming Trump failed to provide documents from federal departments saying he was allowed to declare an emergency over the wall, per USA Today. (Read more national emergency stories.)

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