A coalition of 19 states is suing the Trump administration over its new diversion of $3.8 billion in defense funds to the border wall, arguing that the move is unconstitutional and ignores possible environmental impacts…
This month, the Pentagon informed Congress that it would transfer an additional $3.8 billion to be used for the wall, with money coming from weapons programs.
The 19 states are arguing that the new allocation is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers as well as Congress’s power of the purse.
The case’s introduction:
The States of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, the Commonwealths of Massachusetts and Virginia, and Attorney General Dana Nessel on behalf of the People of Michigan (collectively, “Plaintiff States”) bring this action to protect their residents, National Guard units, natural resources, and sovereign and economic interests from the harm caused by President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution. For the second consecutive year, the Trump Administration has acted contrary to the will of Congress by redirecting billions of dollars appropriated by Congress for Department of Defense (“DOD”) projects toward building a wall on the United States-Mexico border. This includes the diversion of funds for military projects in the Plaintiff States and vital equipment for the States’ respective National Guards. Defendants must be enjoined from carrying out President Trump’s unconstitutional and unlawful scheme.
As readers will recall, the diversion of previously appropriated funding for Department of Defense projects, including millions for projects in Colorado, was the tipping point for the Denver Post’s editorial board to retract their 2014 endorsement of Sen. Cory Gardner:
Gardner was not among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats in rejecting President Donald Trump’s use of a national emergency declaration to allocate funds to a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border…
This is a bogus emergency that takes executive over-reach to an extreme not seen even under President Barack Obama. Trump’s declaration is an abuse of his power, a direct overturning of Congress’ deliberate decision to pass a federal budget without funding for a wall.
Put simply this is a constitutional crisis and one of Colorado’s two senators has failed the test.
In this case, Sen. Gardner failed to stand up to Donald Trump, on a question that forced him to make a defining choice between loyalty to Trump and the interests of the state he represents. In the end Gardner meekly fell in line behind the President, despite having previously criticized both the supposed need for a border wall and the means by which Trump circumvented congressional authority to fund the project.
Now it’s up to Attorney General Phil Weiser to do what should have been Cory Gardner’s job.