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Trump's Declaration Just Got Its Biggest Legal Challenge

16 states sue to block border wall plans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2019 5:14 AM CST
In this Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, photo, President Trump declares a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border.   (AP Photo Evan Vucci, File)
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(Newser) – "It’s kind of awkward to say that on Presidents' Day we're going to be suing the president of the United States, but sometimes that's what you have to do," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday, announcing a major legal challenge to President Trump's emergency declaration. Becerra and the attorneys general of 15 other states filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Trump's plan to use the emergency to build a border wall, calling it "an unconstitutional and unlawful scheme" that shows "flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles," the Washington Post reports. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Northern California, which has repeatedly ruled against Trump's policies.

Trump "treats the rule of law with utter contempt," Becerra said. "He knows there is no border crisis, he knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court." The other states involved are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia, the AP reports. Maryland is the only one without a Democratic governor, though state Attorney General Brian Frosh is a Democrat. The states argue that their economies will be damaged by Trump's plan to divert funds from military construction and anti-drug efforts to the wall. Politico reports that two nonprofit groups, including the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, have already filed challenges to the emergency declaration. (Read more border wall stories.)

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