SACRAMENTO, July 19, 2019 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today, along with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Sierra Club and opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to overturn an injunction issued by the district court pending appeal in Sierra Club v. Trump. The Trump Administration seeks to reverse a previous ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California blocking the Administration from unlawfully diverting $2.5 billion of Department of Defense funding not authorized for a border wall. On July 3, 2019, the Ninth Circuit denied the Trump Administration’s emergency motion for stay of the injunction.
“Allowing the Trump Administration to move forward with construction of an unlawful and disputed border wall would cause severe harm to our states,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Once this damage is done, it cannot be undone. We ask the Supreme Court to reject this impatient attempt by the federal government to rush President Trump’s previously rejected pet project.”
The States’ and Sierra Club’s challenges to the border wall are currently consolidated in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. In the brief, the Attorneys General assert that the states would suffer irreparable harm if the Trump Administration were allowed to proceed with the construction of the border wall in California and New Mexico.
The federal government is requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court issue an order staying the injunction, which would effectively allow the government to begin building a border wall using unlawfully diverted funds before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals can hear the merits of the case. In the brief, the states ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Trump Administration’s request for an emergency stay. They also present the unique harms to the states posed by the diversion of funding to construct the wall that was never authorized by Congress. The Trump Administration’s unlawful actions threaten the states’ sovereign interests and their ability to enforce laws within their borders to protect water and air quality, as well as wildlife corridors and endangered species.
A copy of the brief can be found here.