Attorney General Frey Joins Lawsuit Challenging President Trump's Contrived Declaration of National Emergency at the Southern Border

February 19, 2019

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Aaron Frey today joined a lawsuit led by California Attorney General Becerra filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California challenging President Trump's declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes. In the complaint, the coalition alleges that the Trump Administration's emergency declaration and diversion of funds is unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful. The states seek to block the Trump Administration's emergency declaration, the unauthorized construction of the border wall, and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds.

"The president's action is clearly unconstitutional, violating the separation of powers between Congress and the Executive, and it could rip funds away from important projects in Maine," said Frey. "This action harms Maine's economy and wastes taxpayer dollars for political gamesmanship."

Part of the funding for the border wall comes from diverting Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security funding from Congressionally-authorized defense construction projects. Among the projects at risk from this declaration are $161 Million in important upgrades at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. 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.

"I will not hesitate to take legal action to protect Maine people when our rights and well-being are threatened by irresponsible decisions at the federal level," said Frey.

Joining Attorney General Frey in the lawsuit led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.