Attorney General Becerra Files Amicus Brief Opposing the Federal Government’s Request for Emergency Stay of Preliminary Injunction in Sierra Club v. Trump

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra 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 the 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.

“In America, no one is above the law. It’s a lesson the President has yet to learn,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We stand with the Sierra Club to block the Trump Administration from attempting to usurp funding meant for our families and communities. We ask the court to reject the federal government’s attempt to stay the preliminary injunction, which protects our states from harm.”

California leads a coalition of 20 states in a related lawsuit, and has a direct interest in seeing the preliminary injunction maintained. The coalition led by Attorney General 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 the 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.

A copy of the amicus brief can be found here.

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