Texas Landowners First to Challenge Trump's National Emergency Plan

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Posted: Feb 16, 2019 12:58 PM
Texas Landowners First to Challenge Trump's National Emergency Plan

Source: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

On Friday, President Trump followed through on his threat to declare a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, announcing he had found $8 billion from various government agencies to get it done. He had his share of supporters, like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who directed him to do whatever needed to do to get that barrier built. But many others - both liberals and conservatives - were displeased with how he went about it.

Just hours after Trump's announcement, three Texas landowners and the Frontera Audubon Society in Texas, an environmental group, became the first folks to file a lawsuit against POTUS's emergency plans for the border. The government had previously informed the landowners that if the funds became available, they'd begin construction of the wall on their properties. The advocacy group Public Citizen filed the case in federal district court in Washington, D.C. on Friday, arguing the president exceeded his authority under the National Emergencies Act of 1976. The group called it a "fake national emergency."

"Under our Constitution, built on the principle of separation of powers, a disagreement between the President and Congress about how to spend money does not constitute an emergency authorizing unilateral executive action," the lawsuit read, in part.

Trump had already predicted his uphill battle in court just as soon as he declared the national emergency. But, he was confident that victory would come.

"We will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we'll get another bad ruling, and then we'll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court," Trump said on Friday.

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Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals actually ruled in favor of the Trump administration, deciding that the DHS had the authority to waive environmental laws to speed their wall prototype construction.

The president posted this clip from yesterday's speech on his Twitter page Saturday morning to reiterate his plans for border security.