California Files New Lawsuit Against the Trump Administration


In 2017, the Golden State has been one of the most active jurisdictions in terms of filing legal actions against the White House, and the State Attorney General is not giving any indication of slowing down. The latest lawsuit filed against United States President Donald Trump is related to the contentious Border Wall project, which was a major campaign point in his November 2016 victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Border Wall project, which is also facing strong opposition in Texas, is expected to cut through portions of the Imperial and San Diego counties along the southern boundary with Mexico. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra claims that the current plans to build walls and fences to separate the two countries do not comply with state and federal laws enacted to protect the environment. One of the strongest opponents based on the alleged disregard for environmental impact is the California Coastal Commission.

Becerra traveled from Sacramento south to Border Field State Park to conduct a press conference and officially announce the lawsuit, which has been filed in the corresponding U.S. District Court. Aside from the environmental claims, Becerra plans to argue that the President has run afoul of the 10rh Amendment to the Constitution insofar as the separation of powers clause; however, this claim may lie beyond the scope of District Court and may end up escalating the matter to the Court of Appeals and perhaps even the Supreme Court.

According to a report published by a Bay Area NBC affiliate, Homeland Security has secured waivers of environmental protection laws in the last couple of months for the purpose of moving forward with a plan to fortify an existing wall section that is falling apart in Calexico. These waivers are only the beginning for Homeland Security; according to Becerra, the federal agency may have to pursue dozens of waivers, which may turn into legal challenges at a mounting cost to taxpayers.

The federal government is eager to start showing work being performed on the wall, even if it involves shoring up sections that have fallen into disrepair. The idea is to award construction contracts in November so that crews can start working next year; there may be a sense of urgency behind these contracts since the Trump administration has promised job creation through infrastructure projects that have not materialized.

This lawsuit is one of three major legal actions filed by California against Trump; the other two lawsuits are related to immigration and sanctuary cities such as San Francisco.