Sixteen US states have filed a lawsuit against US President Donald Trump for declaring a national emergency to fund a wall along the country’s border with Mexico, Al Jazeera reported.
The suit was filed at a US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, pertinently a national government holiday.
The development arrives after thousands protested against the decision last week, with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in a statement, saying that the lawsuit alleges the Trump administration’s action violates the Constitution, the report states.
“President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt,” Becerra was quoted as having said. “He knows there is no border crisis, he knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court.”
Previously, Becerra has said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing money intended for military projects, disaster assistance and other purposes.
The lawsuit includes the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.
Earlier, Trump declared a national emergency after the Congress declined to give him $5.7bn to fulfil his 2016 election campaign promise of completing the wall.
Making such a declaration allows the President to bypass Congress to use money from the Pentagon and other budgets.
In the lawsuit, the states have stated that he does not have the power to divert the funds because Congress is in charge of spending.
Many senators of Trump’s Republican party have called the national emergency declaration as establishing a dangerous precedent and amounting to executive overreach.
“President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up ‘national emergency’ in order to seize power and undermine the Constitution,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement on Monday, as per the AJ report. “This ’emergency’ is a national disgrace.”