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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Its vote to override Donald Trump’s veto unsuccessful, the Democratic-controlled House is now turning to the courts to block Trump’s plans to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.
The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group within the House voted this week to authorize taking legal action to block Trump’s wall.
Both House and Senate passed a resolution of disapproval which would have put a stop to Trump’s declaration of a “state of emergency,” which Trump invoked essentially to bypass Congress and raid military budgets to find funding for his long-wanted wall.
But Trump issued the first veto of his presidency to strike down the resolution.
The House, then, last month couldn’t muster the two-thirds supermajority to override Trump’s veto.
That led to this week’s vote of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group. The group, made up of members of the House leadership–the speaker, the majority and minority leaders, and the majority and minority whips–it directs the activities of the House Office of General Counsel to involve itself in litigation.
“The president’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“The president’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority,” she added. “Congress, as Article I – the first branch, co-equal to the other branches – must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances.”
The House lawsuit will join a number of others which also seek to put the breaks on Trump’s wall. That includes cases brought on behalf of landowners in Texas, whose properties would be impacted by the wall.