Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has joined 15 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration for declaring a national emergency to build a wall on the southern U.S. border.
The 16 states argue that the emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and unlawful.
“Our constitution provides for checks and balances and separation of powers," Raoul said. "We believe that President Trump is exceeding the authority given to him through the National Emergency Act and using that to overreach because this is not an emergency."
In addition to Illinois, the other states in the lawsuit are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is collecting lawmakers’ signatures Thursday and will introduce a resolution Friday to block Trump’s national emergency declaration.
“The President's decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated,” Pelosi said Thursday. “We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution and defend our system of checks and balances against the President's assault.”
The ACLU also filed suit against the emergency declaration Wednesday.
“We all know what an emergency really is,” said Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU’s executive director. “It's when something unexpected and dangerous happens that requires an immediate response. Trump himself admitted that there is no emergency when he said, ‘I didn't need to do this.’”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is lead plaintiff on the lawsuit, which means the case will be heard in that state.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. in Oakland was assigned the case brought by the state attorneys general.
During his national emergency declaration, President Trump predicted, “We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn't be there, and 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."
Should the case be appealed, it will wind up in the 9th Circuit Appeal Court, which has ruled against some of the president’s most controversial policies.
Raoul joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the lawsuit.