On September 1, 2020, El Paso County, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights delivered oral arguments to the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals urging the court to uphold their victory ordered by a lower court last December. The lower court issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Trump administration from using the Department of Defense military construction funds to build a wall along the Southern U.S. border and also declared that the emergency proclamation was unlawful. Today, plaintiffs asked the 5th Circuit to support that ruling.
It’s been 19 months since Trump issued the proclamation, setting in motion the diversion of billions of dollars from military construction and Department of Defense funds, including funds intended for military bases like El Paso’s Fort Bliss, to build a wall that serves no useful purpose and harms the border community. Since that time, every court to consider the issue has ruled that Trump’s usurpation of Congress’s power of the purse is illegal; including in our case brought before a federal district court in El Paso, which struck down the Administration’s emergency declaration last October.
“This President is not a king and he can’t override the spending power our founders gave to Congress by declaring a fake emergency. But as we’ve now seen repeatedly, Trump’s abuse of power over the wall was just the beginning in a series of abuses that threaten our democracy, the rights of our states, our Postal Service, and our election,” said Kristy Parker, counsel at Protect Democracy. “The courts need to enforce the Constitution and stop him now.”
Statement from the Border Network for Human Rights: “The families of the Border Network for Human Rights have been deeply harmed by President Trump’s illegal emergency declaration and his illegal wall that divides our community. Our organization has also had to expend resources to help our members navigate their impacts on our daily lives. We worked to elect representatives who would oppose the wall and Trump slapped our democracy in the face with his unconstitutional actions. We hope the Court of Appeals will acknowledge what the District Court has already settled—that Trump’s unlawful actions harm real people.”
For more information about the case, visit EndTheEmergency.org.
Case documents can be found here.