Colorado AG Joins Multi-State Lawsuit To Stop National Emergency Declaration

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Phil Weiser

Colorado’s Attorney General (AG), Phil Weiser, concerned about the way funding redirection has been proposed to happen and how it effects bases near Denver and Colorado Springs, will join a developing multi-state lawsuit.

The AG office announced this past Friday that they were considering if Colorado had legal standing to participate in a lawsuit against the border wall since we do not share a border with Mexico, where the wall is designated to be built.

The decision to move forward was announced Sunday night. On Monday, the AG’s office determined Colorado does have standing to join the lawsuit due to the possible effects on military bases in Colorado. The White House has said that the National Emergency action will, likely, take money that was designated for military construction and redirect it to build the wall.

Several other states have indicated they will be joining the lawsuit including Oregon, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Virginia, California, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota and Maine.

National Emergency declarations, which have been implemented dozens of times in the past, are usually used to fund events such as natural disasters not policy decisions. Concerns, primarily by Democrats but also some Republicans, have been expressed about this being an end-run around Congress to spend money on a project they had decided against funding instead of emergencies like hurricane, flood and forest fire relief.

Chris Edelson, a professor of Public Affairs at American University and author of the 2013 book “Emergency Presidential Power From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror” said there is no previous example of a president asking for funding from Congress, Congress denying the funding and the president then saying, ‘I’ll use emergency powers to do it anyway.’

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