On Thursday, Democratic leaders voted to file a lawsuit against President Trump’s emergency declaration. They hope the move will block the billions in funding the President’s accessed for border wall construction.
“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,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said following the vote.
On Thursday the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, a five-member board that controls the House of Representatives’ general counsel, voted 3-2 to authorize a lawsuit against President Trump’s emergency declaration.
Their lawsuit claims that President Trump violated the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause, which gives lawmakers in Congress the authority to control funding measures.
This vote fell strictly along party lines, with Pelosi, Majority Leader Whip Jim Clyburn and Majority Steny Hoyer voting for it, and Minority Leader Steve Scalise and Minority Whip Kevin McCarthy voting against it.
“The President’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority,” Nancy Pelosi continued in her statement. “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.”
This is not the first time congressional Dems have tried to block the emergency declaration, nor is their first lawsuit.
Both chambers of Congress, with the help of some GOP support, were able to pass a resolution that condemned the President’s emergency crisis. However, in the first veto of his presidency, Trump struck it down. Lawmakers weren’t able to obtain a two-thirds majority in Congress to override the veto.
President Trump’s declaration has also been challenged in court from a many of state attorneys general, led by California. A bunch of progressive and environmental groups are trying to fight the proclamation in the courtroom as well.
After accepting the 1.375 billion dollars in funds Congress appropriated for border wall construction in February, the President declared an emergency on the southern border, authorizing billions more in funding from the military’s budget. Pentagon has already authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to shift $1 billion to the southern border wall.
When the President originally made his crisis declaration, he predicted it would face a lawsuit that would eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.
“We will have a national emergency, and then we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there,” President Trump stated back in February. “And we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling. And then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully, we’ll get a fair shake.”