A coalition of 16 states filed a federal lawsuit Monday to block President Trump’s plan to build a border wall without permission from Congress, arguing that the president’s decision to declare a national emergency is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit, brought by states with Democratic governors — except one, Maryland — seeks a preliminary injunction that would prevent the president from acting on his emergency declaration while the case plays out in the courts.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, a San Francisco-based court whose judges have ruled against an array of other Trump administration policies, including on immigration and the environment.
Accusing the president of “an unconstitutional and unlawful scheme,” the suit says the states are trying “to protect their residents, natural resources, and economic interests from President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution.”
The complaint, filed by the attorneys general of nearly a third of the states and representing millions of Americans, immediately became the heavyweight among a rapid outpouring of opposition to the president’s emergency declaration. In the White House Rose Garden on Friday, Trump announced that he was instituting a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border because Congress did not provide enough money for a wall, that has stood as one of the most enduring promises from his 2016 campaign.
By the time this case actually gets to its final resolution, Trump will either be voted out of office or the presiding judge at trial will already be occupied by presiding over his impeachment in the Senate. And this is just the first of many, many suits that will be filed in state and federal court on everything from eminent domain challenges to states’ rights.
Basically it comes down to Trump doing this to keep a campaign promise mnemonic about immigration and to keep Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh from turning on him. And now we’ll find out how much it costs to feed an ego.