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ACLU, Other Leftist Groups Threaten To Sue Trump Administration Over Border Wall National Emergency Declaration

By  Ashe Schow

A number of leftist groups are threatening to sue President Donald Trump and his administration after he declared a national emergency in order to reallocate funds to pay for his border wall.

Trump declared the national emergency on Friday and shortly after his announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted that it would be suing the president.

“We’re suing President Trump over today’s blatantly illegal declaration of a national emergency,” the ACLU tweeted. “There is no emergency. This is an unconstitutional power grab that hurts American communities. We’ll see him in court.”

The state of California also threatened to sue the president after his announcement in the Rose Garden. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra held a state news conference where the pair hinted at legal action.

“Donald Trump, we’ll see you in court,” Newsom said, according to NPR.

“President Trump got one thing right this morning about his declaration when he said, ‘I didn’t have to do this.’ He’s right. He didn’t have to do this. In fact, he can’t do this,” Becerra said.

Becerra added that it is Congress, not the president, who decides how federal money is spent.

New York and Washington followed California’s lead, declaring they would seek legal action against Trump. New York Attorney General Letitia James said Friday she would use “every legal tool” to fight Trump, according to the National Law Journal. The outlet also reported that Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a press release saying the same.

“If Washington is harmed, my office will take appropriate steps to block this unlawful action,” Ferguson said. It is unclear how a state in the Pacific Northwest would be harmed from a southern border wall.

An organization called Protect Democracy also claims to have prepared a lawsuit, the Law Journal reported.

“Another group—Protect Democracy—said Thursday that it had prepared a lawsuit on behalf of El Paso County, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights, to challenge Trump. The group said it would work alongside the Niskanen Center,” the outlet reported.

The Niskanen Center advocates for “an open society: a social order that is open to political, cultural, and social change; open to free inquiry; open to individual autonomy; open to the poor and marginalized; open to commerce and trade; open to people who may wish to come or go; open to different beliefs and cultures; open to the search for truth; and a government that protects these freedoms while advancing the cause of open societies around the world,” according to its website. It’s named after a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

Public Citizen, another think tank, has already filed a lawsuit against Trump over the declaration, according to Bloomberg.

“Public Citizen, a consumer rights think tank, filed the complaint Friday evening on behalf of a nature preserve and three landowners in southern Texas who’ve been told the government will seek to build sections of the wall on their property once funding becomes available,” Bloomberg reported.

Trump said during his announcement that he “expects” to be sued and to lose, especially in the Ninth Circuit, the most liberal court in the country.

“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,” Trump said on Friday.

The Hill asked a White House official for a response to the lawsuits. The official said the administration had yet to see one.

“We have not seen any of the threatened lawsuits,” the official said, adding they are “not sure how to respond to lawsuits we have not seen, that have only been threatened.”

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