Led by California, a coalition of 16 U.S. states has taken legal action against the Trump administration after the president declared a national emergency
to divert funding to his controversial border wall. Both Trump and his opponents predicted legal action last week and the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday. It seeks to halt the administration from using emergency powers to divert funding from other programs to build the wall.
Last week, Trump said that he did not need to declare an emergency but he did it in order to secure funding more quickly and some observers say these comments could undermine his legal arguments. The lawsuit says that Trump's declaration is "unconstitutional and unlawful" and that "by the president's own admission" an emergency declaration is not necessary. The states involved allege that diverting funds from military construction projects, law enforcement and drug interdiction could lead to significant harm to public safety and result in economic damage.
The entire list of states suing the Trump administration
is California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia and Michigan. All of those states are governed by Democrats with the exception of Maryland. Other groups have also taken legal action including three Texas landowners and an environmental group on Friday.