“Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. Becerra’s statement slammed the president’s justification for a national emergency as a “hyped crisis.” The suit was filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco.
Mr. Trump declared that he would spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than Congress had granted him. He asserted the power to tap three additional pots of money on his own: $600 million from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund for law enforcement priorities; about $2.5 billion from a military antidrug account, most of which would first be siphoned from other military programs the Pentagon has yet to identify; and $3.6 billion in military construction funds he said he could redirect by invoking an emergency-powers statute. A national emergency declaration gives the president special powers to take taxpayer dollars from other budgets to pay for border wall construction. The lawsuit says that the plaintiff states are going to court to protect their residents, natural resources and economic interests. Congress is on its own separate track to challenge the president’s declaration.