- House leaders voted to sue the Trump administration Thursday, arguing the president’s national emergency declaration violates the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause.
- Congress had previously failed to override Trump’s veto of a resolution attempting to terminate the national emergency declaration.
- There are already several lawsuits challenging the emergency declaration.
WASHINGTON – Leaders in the House of Representatives voted Thursday to file a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to build additional physical barriers along the United States border with Mexico.
The decision was made by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group and announced in a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“The President’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution,” she said.
The lawsuit will argue that Trump’s emergency declaration, which reprograms military funds to help build more miles of his border wall, violates the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause.
“The President’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorised by constitutional or statutory authority,” Pelosi added. “Congress, as Article I – the first branch, co-equal to the other branches – must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances.”
“The House will once again defend our Democracy and our Constitution, this time in the courts,” Pelosi said. “No one is above the law or the Constitution, not even the President.”
The decision is unlikely to garner Republican support, as just more than a dozen joined Democrats in rebuking the emergency declaration, which resulted in Trump issuing the first veto of his presidency in March.
The emergency declaration is already the subject of several other lawsuits as well, including one from a handful of states led by California. But until any action is taken, Trump’s wall will continue to be built, both due to the funds Congress granted to end the partial government shutdown and with the diverted money from the emergency declaration.
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