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June 13, 2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FILES AMICUS BRIEF OPPOSING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S USE OF DIVERTED FUNDS TO BUILD BORDER WALL

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with a coalition of 20 attorneys general, filed an amicus brief before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Sierra Club, et al. v. Trump, et al., a case challenging the 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 the federal government from commencing border wall construction in New Mexico and Arizona with funds that were unlawfully diverted. The federal government has now appealed that ruling.

“Diverting funds that have been appropriated by Congress is a violation of the Constitution,” Raoul said. “I am committed to holding the federal government accountable, fighting this abuse of power and ensuring these funds are used properly.”

In the brief, Raoul and the coalition support the Sierra Club in their claim that the federal government’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. Raoul’s office is also part of a related lawsuit filed by a coalition of 20 that have a direct interest in seeing the preliminary injunction maintained. Both lawsuits allege that the federal government’s actions in diverting funding for construction of a border wall exceed statutory authority and violate the U.S. Constitution.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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