Calfornia Attorney General Xavier Becerra is leading the charge in a multi-state lawsuit in response to Donald Trump’s utterly idiotic national emergency over border security. Per CNN, Becerra says that he should be filing the suit “sometime today” and that roughly a dozen other states are prepared to jump on the suit.
“We should be filing sometime today,” Becerra told CNN on Monday. “We’re going to try to halt the President from violating the Constitution, the separation of powers, from stealing money from Americans and states that has been allocated by Congress, lawfully.”
California’s state lawsuit will join the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the ACLU, and several other organizations who all filed suits challenging Trump’s plan to use military funding to construct barricades on the Southern border, but challenge the policy on different grounds. Becerra’s state-led suit essentially argues that Trump is using the national emergency to go around Congress’s power (which... yeah).
“The Constitution assigns Congress the power of the purse, and no prior president has ever tried to use emergency powers to fund a chosen project — particularly a permanent, large-scale domestic project such as this — against congressional will. This is obviously improper,” said Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project.
Becerra argued that the states have standing to challenge Trump because money appropriated to them might be at risk.
“If the President is essentially stealing money that’s been allocated to go to the various states for various purposes but no longer will, we’re being harmed, our people are being harmed,” he said.
Becerra, in an interview with NBC News, seemed to set up the suit for a possible Supreme Court decision, something that Trump has also alluded to.
“The president does have broad authority. But he does not have authority to violate the Constitution,” Becerra said. “President Obama never did this. He never tried to raid accounts, funding accounts, that had been allocated by Congress. When a president tries to do that, the Supreme Court will typically step in and say, ‘Keep your hands out of the cookie jar.’”
In other words, the fight over Trump’s wall is going to be a long one.