States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration

A group of 16 states filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE's move to declare a national emergency to get funding for his proposed southern border wall. 

The states, 15 of which have Democratic governors, called the situation at the border a "manufactured crisis."

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"President Trump has veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making. For years, President Trump has repeatedly stated his intention to build a wall across the United States-Mexico border," reads the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The states are asking the court to permanently enjoin the Trump administration from building a border wall without an appropriation by Congress, permanently block the administration from diverting federal funding toward construction of a border wall; and declare the national emergency declaration unlawful. 

The suit says the states are bringing forth the injunction “to protect their residents, natural resources, and economic interests from President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution.”

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Energy: Trump moves forward with rule on California drilling | House panel advances bill that resumes participation in Paris climate fund | Perry pressed on 'environmental justice' | 2020 Dem proposes climate corps Trump administration moves forward with final rule to allow new California drilling Overnight Energy: Interior chief says climate response falls on Congress | Bernhardt insists officials will complete offshore drilling plans | Judge rules EPA must enforce Obama landfill pollution rules MORE (D) announced his intention to begin a lawsuit almost immediately after Trump declared a national emergency Friday to circumvent Congress and allocate nearly $8 billion to fund his long-sought project along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Becerra has said that the basis for an injunction on Trump's declaration is that there is no actual emergency at the border.

"He did not have to call this an emergency," Becerra said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. “It's become clear that this is not an emergency, not only because no one believes it is, but because Donald Trump himself has said it's not."

"He has also said he knows he’s going to lose in court,” he added. “And he’s hoping that he can count on a conservative court in the Supreme Court to give him a victory because he knows he’s going to lose all the way up the ladder of the federal court system.”

Trump had predicted his declaration would be blocked by the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit during a press conference Friday announcing the move.

“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," Trump said.

He added that he hoped to "get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the [travel] ban."

The states quoted Trump from that Rose Garden press conference in their suit. 

"In explaining his rationale for the Executive Actions, the President candidly admitted that the emergency declaration reflected his personal preference to construct the wall more quickly, rather than an actual urgent need for it to be built immediately: ‘I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster,' " the suit reads.

Trump declared the national emergency before signing a spending bill Friday allocating roughly $1.4 billion toward border security, a far cry from the $5.7 billion he had initially demanded.

The government last month was partially shutdown a record 35 days over the refusal of congressional Democrats to acquiesce to Trump’s border wall demand. It would have been shut down again if Trump did not sign the spending deal Friday.

Three environment and animal advocacy groups submitted a separate lawsuit this weekend challenging the emergency declaration as not being authorized under the Constitution. 

— Lydia Wheeler contributed.