Print By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times – Friday, February 15, 2019 The first lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C., Friday evening challenging President Trump’s new emergency declaration to build his border wall. Three Texas landowners and the Frontera Audubon Society in Texas asked a judge to halt any action…
Three Texas landowners and the Frontera Audubon Society in Texas asked a judge to halt any action Mr. Trump might take under the declaration, arguing that a fight with Congress over spending money doesn’t constitute an emergency under the 1970s-era National Emergencies Act.
The landowners say they’re in the path for future wall construction, while the Audubon Society says its members are bird-watchers who might see their favorite fowls chased out of the area by wall construction, impeding their ability to birdwatch.
SEE ALSO: Trump declares national emergency on border, taking extra money for wall
The litigants said whatever justification Mr. Trump had for declaring an emergency disappeared earlier Friday when, in announcing his plans, the president said he could have waited and gotten the money over time from Congress.
“I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster,” the president said.
The lawsuit challenges both a $3.6 billion transfer of funds from military construction projects to the border wall and another $2.5 billion pot of money for Defense Department counter-drug efforts.
SEE ALSO: Trump’s border emergency: Answers to all your questions
Only the first of those required an emergency declaration, but the new lawsuit says both are illegal, in the first case because there is no emergency and in the second instance because they doubted border walls would “block drug smuggling.”
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