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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Vermont Joins Lawsuit Challenging National “Emergency” Declaration

March 13, 2019

Contact: Benjamin Battles, Solicitor General, 802-828-3171

Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin join coalition; 20 states in total file suit

Vermont Attorney General Donovan and attorneys general from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Wisconsin today joined the coalition challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. With these additional states, the coalition challenging the declaration includes 20 attorneys general. The coalition alleges that the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The group seeks to block the Trump Administration’s emergency declaration, the unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds.

“Funds that are dedicated to Vermont to support and promote the public safety of our state should not be jeopardized by a manufactured political crisis by the President.  We will defend Vermont.”

The complaint, as amended today, alleges that the Trump Administration’s action exceeds the power of the executive office, violates the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, and would illegally and unconstitutionally divert federal funds appropriated by Congress for other purposes. The Administration’s actions threaten critical funds that support drug interdiction and law enforcement in Vermont. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to block the emergency declaration, the construction of the wall, and any illegal diversion of congressionally-appropriated funds.

The states allege that the Trump Administration’s action declaring a national emergency due to a purported border crisis is unlawful and unconstitutional. The facts do not support President Trump’s rhetoric or his declaration. Unlawful southern border entries are within historic lows, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry. There is no credible evidence to suggest that a border wall would decrease crime rates.

The coalition, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, includes the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


FAC Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Last modified: March 13, 2019