"We think it's unlawful unconstitutional and also not an emergency and so we filed a lawsuit yesterday to try to bring back the constitutional balance that Donald Trump's emergency declaration threatens to erode."
"I think the president has made very clear what everyone already knows there is no emergency, he just wants to build the wall faster. That's what he told the American people at a press conference at the Rose Garden as he declared the emergency. And it's also really in the text of the proclamation itself, because if you read the proclamation that is the the legal document that sets out the emergency it claims that actually what it's looking at is what the president considers to be a long-standing problem rather than a recent emergency and not only that but the only detail provided in that declaration for what is, according to the declaration, a worsening problem is the fact that family units are showing up at the border and seeking asylum, which is lawful under U.S. law. For the president to say that family units arriving at the border seeking asylum is a military emergency is so preposterous on its face that I think you know the president has put forward the best case already for why there is no emergency and why he's really just engaged in unconstitutional power grab."
"I think they definitely know they're going to court for this. I think there is no question that the president knows he's on extremely shaky legal ground. I'm sure there are many lawyers who have already told him that, they will not be a first for this administration to proceed in the face of what is obviously a very tenuous or completely impossible legal situation. I think, you know, he has said that he hopes that the courts will bail him out on this but courts have not been so willing to do that in the past and the courts have a really important role in American democracy in terms of preserving the balance of powers between the other branches of government. And the president has set up here, a pretty clear case for courts to say to him: You've gone too far. You can't do this."
"So the timing is not yet clear. I suspect given what the government has said about moving at a pace that will shock people that they're going to want to be building this pretty soon. And I think that in order to do that they're going to need to try to clear the legal clouds over this construction. So I think we're going to see this develop pretty quickly."
When President Donald Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border, he also predicted his administration would end up defending it all the way to the Supreme Court.
That might have been the only thing Trump said last week that produced near-universal agreement.
The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Trump's declaration that the "current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency."
"We think it's unlawful unconstitutional and also not an emergency and so we filed a lawsuit yesterday to try to bring back the constitutional balance that Donald Trump's emergency declaration threatens to erode," said Dror Ladin, an ACLU staff attorney.
The coming legal fight seems likely to hinge on two main issues: Can the president declare a national emergency to build a border wall in the face of Congress' refusal to give him all the money he wanted and, under the federal law Trump invoked in his declaration, can the Defense Department take money from some congressionally approved military construction projects to pay for wall construction?
The ACLU says its clients, the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition. The ACLU contents both groups have been harmed by the fact they had to spend time and resources to beat funding the border wall in congress and now will have to again spend resources to fight the Trump administration's declaration of a national emergency.