Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors has joined a multi-state coalition challenging the Trump administration for the diversion of billions of taxpayer dollars for the construction of an unauthorized border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Connors on Tuesday joined 18 other attorneys general in filing a lawsuit, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleging that the diversion of the funds violates the principles of separation of powers, as well as the Presentment Clause and Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution by usurping Congress’s appropriation powers.
In February, the Trump administration announced that $3.8 billion in funds that Congress appropriated to the U.S. Department of Defense would be redirected toward the construction of the wall.
“We have joined this legal matter because the administration’s actions have violated the separation of powers doctrine,” said Connors in a news release. “These unlawful diversions could impact defense spending in our state, including important military constructions projects.”
Hawaii has a significant military presence, said Connors, which makes a tremendous contribution to the state’s economy.
The coalition of attorneys general also alleges that the border wall disregards the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to consider the environmental impact of construction, and the imminent harm it poses to more than 100 sensitive plant and animal species.
The attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin also joined the suit.