On Monday, 16 states filed a lawsuit again the Trump administration for declaring a national emergency to get funds for a wall along the southern border, with those suing calling that move "unconstitutional."
The states included in the suit are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.
CBS News reports that the suit was spearheaded by California's Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, which thus far represents the first (and therefore most noteworthy) legal challenge to the White House's controversial decision. Several other Democratic lawmakers have also issued threats to put forth legislation that would put a stop to the emergency declaration.
"It's unfortunate that on Presidents Day, when we should be celebrating what our presidents have done for this country, that we're actually suing this president," said Becerra to CBS. "But that's important because we're trying to make sure that in the future we respect what our presidents do. And that our presidents respect [that] they too like every American must abide by the law. No one is above the law in this country."
As you're aware (probably?) Trump's declaration was made after Congress approved only $1.375 billion for 55 miles of physical barriers along the U.S./Mexico border. In response, the current administration declared a national emergency in order to access billions more to fund the wall. While addressing the audience watching on TV, Trump had predicted that they would be sued but that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court would eventually rule in his favor.
By declaring a national emergency the White House can use $3.6 billion in military construction funds for the wall. In addition to that, a Trump executive order freed up more than $3 billion (with $2.5 billion diverted from counternarcotics initiatives, and $600 million more coming from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund).
The move was widely panned by Democrats and even some moderate Republicans. As for Republicans who supported the decision, Becerra also addressed them while speaking to CBS.
"Republicans in Congress, most of them at least, are abrogating their own responsibility," he said. "This is their power that the president is usurping, the power of the purse, and yet they seem to be going along with the president."