NEW: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says the state will file a lawsuit “definitely and imminently” against the Trump administration over the president’s recent national emergency declaration. https://t.co/lASC3jt1A4 pic.twitter.com/f8Q4TdYzOX
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 17, 2019
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Sunday that his office is going to sue President Donald Trump over the newly declared national emergency, but he announced that other plaintiffs will join the complaint.
“We are prepared,” he said on ABC’s This Week. “We knew something like this might happen, and with our sister state partners we are ready to go.”
The president announced a national emergency on Friday. He claims he needs to divert federal funds so he can build his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In a press conference, he said it would stop drug trafficking and gang violence. Critics say he is exaggerating the danger, and demonizing immigrants.
Trump said on Friday that Congress gave him $1.4 billion, but that he wasn’t “happy with it.” He added, “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.” He suggested he would get sued, that he would lose in the lower courts, and that he might get a “fair shake” in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Becerra on Sunday gave a preview of what his lawsuit will look like.
“He himself said it: He did not need to announce or declare a crisis,” Becerra said. “He did not have to call this an emergency. He has also said he knows he’s going to lose in court, and he’s hoping that he can count on a conservative court in the Supreme Court to give him a victory because he knows he’s going to lose all the way up the ladder of the federal court system.”
He told ABC that Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Oregon will join the lawsuit.
Legal experts, including Kellyanne Conway‘s husband George Conway, argued that Trump’s “I didn’t need to do this” will work against him in legal challenges against the national emergency.
Becerra on Sunday said that it’s clear this is not an actual emergency.
“But there is enough evidence to show that this is not the 9/11 crisis that we faced back in 2001,” he said. “It’s not the Iran hostage crisis we faced in 1979. It’s not even the type of national emergency where we are trying to take action against a foreign enemy, or to avoid some type of harm befalling Americans abroad.”
President George W. Bush announced several national emergencies after 9/11, and President Jimmy Carter issued one over the hostage crisis.
Some Texas landowners and the Frontera Audobon Society sued the Trump administration on Friday over the national emergency. Like Becerra, they argued that there is no real emergency.
[Screengrab via ABC]