Nevada Attorney General Ford joins lawsuit challenging National Emergency
February 18, 2019
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined a lawsuit led by California Attorney General Becerra, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday challenge President Trump's declaration of a national emergency.
The lawsuit challenges the President's attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. In the complaint, 16 states alleges the Trump Administration's emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The states seek to block the Trump Administration's emergency declaration, the construction of a border wall, and any diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds.
"President Trump cannot sidestep our Constitution for a political ploy," Ford said. "The Trump Administration's proposed diversion of funds would waste billions of dollars that is dedicated to supporting our military and law enforcement agencies. I am proud to join this lawsuit to defend our Constitution, our state's military bases, and Nevada's law enforcement agencies."
The complaint filed Monday alleges the President's emergency declaration is a pretext to justify redirecting congressionally-appropriated funds to build a wall along the southern border after he failed to get Congress — or Mexico — to pay for it. According a press release from Ford's office, unlawful southern border entries are at their lowest point in 20 years, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry.
“President Trump cannot sidestep our Constitution for a political ploy. The Trump Administration’s proposed diversion of funds would waste billions of dollars that is dedicated to supporting our military and law enforcement agencies. I am proud to join this lawsuit to defend our Constitution, our state’s military bases, and Nevada’s law enforcement agencies.”
— Aaron FordNevada Attorney General
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The states allege the Trump Administration's action exceeds the power of the executive office, violates the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, and would illegally and unconstitutionally divert federal funds appropriated by Congress. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to block the emergency declaration, the construction of the wall, and any diversion of congressionally-appropriated funds.
The congressionally-appropriated funds at issue are intended to support military construction, including housing for military families, as well as law enforcement activities. Nevada, home to Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base, Hawthorne Army Depot Base, and Naval Air Station Fallon, could suffer if funding is diverted to construction of a border wall, Ford's release stated.
The Trump Administration is seeking to divert funds from several programs relied upon by state and local law enforcement agencies, Ford's release stated. Should this funding be depleted, Nevada's law enforcement agencies' ability to combat drug trafficking here in Nevada could be hampered, Ford's release stated.
Joining Ford in filing the lawsuit are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.