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Minnesota Joins Multistate Lawsuit Over President Trump's Emergency Declaration

Minnesota Joins Multistate Lawsuit Over President Trump's Emergency Declaration Photo: MGN Online.

February 18, 2019 08:17 PM

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that Minnesota is joining a multistate lawsuit, led by the State of California, to enjoin the Trump administration from illegally and unconstitutionally diverting federal funds to build a wall along the United States southern border that President Trump announced in his emergency declaration on Friday, February 15. Minnesota is one of 16 states to join the lawsuit.

“President Trump, who has been unable to persuade Congress and the American people that a wall is necessary, is harming the people of Minnesota by forcing this constitutional crisis. I have joined this lawsuit because I cannot allow him to do that,” Attorney General Ellison said.

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The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of California, asks the court to declare that the diversion of federal funds toward construction of a border wall is unconstitutional and/or unlawful because it violates the separation of powers, violates the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution which confers the power of the purse to Congress, exceeds Congressional authority conferred to the executive branch, and is beyond the legal powers of the executive branch. It asks the court to permanently enjoin the Trump administration from constructing a border wall without a Congressional appropriation for that purpose and to enjoin the Trump administration from diverting federal funds to build a border wall.

Attorney General Ellison continued, “The President’s emergency declaration would cause both short- and long-term harm to the people of Minnesota. This declaration — which the President himself said is unnecessary — hurts Minnesota by putting at risk the diversion of funds that Congress has legally appropriated to the Minnesota National Guard, which helps Minnesotans by responding to natural disasters, working with local law enforcement to interdict illegal drugs, and supporting local communities in every corner of our state. It is also a clear overreach of the power of the executive branch that hurts the people of Minnesota and every state by manufacturing a crisis— at a time when unauthorized border-crossings are at a 20-year low — that endangers the balance of powers at the root of our Constitution.

“The job of Attorney General is to protect the people of Minnesota. When the President or the federal government harms the people of Minnesota, I’ll use the power of my office to protect Minnesotans,” Attorney General Ellison concluded.

Minnesota and California were joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia in this lawsuit.

(The Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison)

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