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Attorney General William Tong

06/12/2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG JOINS AMICUS BRIEF OPPOSING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY STAY OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION IN SIERRA CLUB V. TRUMP

(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong, as part of a 20 state coalition, filed an amicus brief before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Sierra Club, et al. v. Trump, et al., a case challenging President Trump’s unlawful diversion of funds toward construction of a border wall. The ACLU represents the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition in the lawsuit. The brief urges the court to deny the federal government’s emergency motion for a stay of the preliminary injunction granted by the district court in Sierra Club’s case, blocking President Trump from commencing border wall construction in New Mexico and Arizona with funds that were unlawfully diverted. The federal government has now appealed that ruling.

"The President launched an unlawful end run around Congress to fund his wall, and now he is angry that a court won't allow his vanity project to proceed. Make no mistake—the border wall was an empty campaign promise that will do nothing to improve our nation's immigration system. The lower court has rightly issued a preliminary injunction blocking the border wall. Trump's desperate appeal lacks merit and should be denied. Connecticut stands with the Sierra Club in defending this injunction and the rule of law," said Attorney General William Tong.

Connecticut is part of a coalition of 20 states in a related lawsuit, and has a direct interest in seeing the preliminary injunction maintained. 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. Both lawsuits allege that the Trump Administration’s actions in diverting funding for construction of a border wall exceed statutory authority and violate the U.S. Constitution. In the brief, the attorneys general support the Sierra Club in their claim that President Trump’s action to unilaterally divert $1 billion of Department of Defense funds for construction of a border wall in New Mexico and Arizona was both unlawful and unconstitutional and warrants a preliminary injunction until the case is resolved.

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