16 US states wall Donald Trump into suit over national emergency

Updated: Feb 20, 2019, 14:12 IST | Agencies |

Coalition of 16 states in their lawsuit alleges Donald Trump's emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful

People protest against Trump's National Emergency declaration, outside City Hall in Los Angeles, California. Pics/AFP
People protest against Trump's National Emergency declaration, outside City Hall in Los Angeles, California. Pics/AFP

Washington: Sixteen US states have sued US President Donald Trump over his plan to declare a national emergency to get funding for his controversial wall along the border with Mexico, saying he has veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.

The lawsuit came after Trump on Friday declared that he would spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than Congress had granted him. The National Emergencies Act allows the President to declare a national emergency and unlock a stash of funds by invoking certain statutory authority.

The coalition of 16 states in their lawsuit alleged that the Trump administration's emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco on Monday, argues that the president does not have the power to divert funds for constructing a wall along the Mexican border because it is Congress that controls spending.

"President Trump has veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making. For years, President Trump has repeatedly stated his intention to build a wall across the United States-Mexico border," reads the suit. The lawsuit seeks to block the Trump administration's emergency declaration, the unauthorised construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds, a media release said.

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