Virginia joins suit to challenge Trump’s emergency declaration

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has joined a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes.

In the complaint, Virginia and 14 other states allege that the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The states seek to block the declaration, the unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally appropriated funds.

Virginia stands to lose up to $131.7 million in military construction funding for currently planned projects at Dam Neck, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Belvoir, Humphreys Engineer Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, and the Pentagon.

“Concocting a fake emergency to build a needless wall goes against the Constitution and the values America was built on,” said Herring. “President Trump’s ill-advised plan could divert critical funds from actual national security priorities, including military construction projects at bases and facilities throughout Virginia. We must stand up to this administration when it violates the law and attacks our values.”

The states allege that 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 for other purposes. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to block the emergency declaration, the construction of the wall, and any illegal diversion of congressionally-appropriated funds.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Joining Virginia in the lawsuit are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.