Minnesota joins multi-state lawsuit against President Trump over emergency declaration

Minnesota is joining the multi-state lawsuit to "enjoin the Trump administration from illegally and unconstitutionally diverting federal funds to build a wall," Attorney General Keith Ellison's office announced Monday.

President Trump announced the national emergency declaration Friday, which would allow him to divert funds from other federal projects for the border wall.

According to the Attorney General's office, Minnesota is one of 16 states to join the lawsuit, which is led by California.

“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 in a release.

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."

In his statement, Attorney General Ellison also said the 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."

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.