President Donald Trump predicted Friday that his administration will get sued over his decision to declare a national emergency to obtain funding for border barrier construction. However, he said he has hope he will ultimately win at the Supreme Court if the case is decided fairly.
The president announced from the Rose Garden that he had signed the declaration, which directs $8 billion to construct or repair as much as 234 miles in border barrier, Politico reported.
In addition to the $1.375 billion Congress just voted to authorize, the White House will seek to redirect $3.6 billion from a military construction fund, $2.5 billion from a Department of Defense drug interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department from a drug forfeiture fund.
The national emergency is specifically being used to tap the $3.6 billion from the military construction fund.
Trump believes the Democrats or their allies will take immediate legal action to try to stop him from using those funds, and that they will likely file their case in the 9th Circuit.
“We will have a national emergency and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake, and we’ll win in the Supreme Court,” he said.
President Trump: “We will have a national emergency and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court…” pic.twitter.com/pYvliSM14b
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 15, 2019
“Just like the (travel) ban, they sued us in the 9th Circuit, and we lost, and then we lost at the appellate division, and then we went to the Supreme Court and then we won,” Trump added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement Friday following Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, claiming he has “gone outside the bounds of the law.”
“The President’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution,” they said. “The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”
If the past is a prologue, the Democrats will likely seek a legal remedy at the 9th Circuit.
The San Francisco-based appellate court has a reputation for being the most left-leaning in the country and has blocked policy implementation by the Trump administration on multiple occasions, particularly with regard to immigration.
Most noteworthy was his 2017 travel ban from seven countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. The ban went through multiple iterations as the administration tried to comply with the 9th Circuit’s decrees. The Supreme Court took the case and overruled the lower court last June.
“The probably easiest one to win is declaring a national emergency, because we’re declaring it for virtual invasion purposes: drugs, traffickers, and gangs,” Trump said. “We have removed thousands of MS-13 gang monsters.”
Many national emergencies have been declared by past presidents, including Barack Obama, the president noted.
In fact, Trump said he would use language from the Obama administration’s 2011 national emergency declaration in relation to transnational criminal gangs, which specifically identified the ruthless Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel.
In making the case for further barrier funding in late January, Trump said, “Last year alone, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers removed 10,000 known or suspected gang members, like MS-13 and members as bad as them. Horrible people. Tough. Mean. Sadistic.”
“As commander in chief, my highest priority is the defense of our great country,” he added. “We cannot surrender operational control over the nation’s borders to foreign cartels, traffickers, and smugglers.”
Among other statutory provisions that the Trump administration will likely point to regarding redirecting Pentagon funds to border security is Title 10, Section 284 of the U.S. Code.
In a testimony before Congress last month, a DOD official said the law authorizes the Pentagon to provide support for counter-drug operations if requested by the appropriate federal and state authorities.
The legislation specifically allows for the “construction of roads and fences and installation of lighting to block drug smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States.”
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