It was not a surprise when a coalition of 16 states filed suit against the Trump administration on Monday, aiming to block the president’s declaration of a national emergency. Left-wing governors, attorneys general, and special interest groups signaled that they would take legal action the moment the ink was dry on Trump’s executive order.
But while we expect that the courts will (eventually) find in favor of the president’s clear authority in matters of national security, we were a little surprised to see how easy Democrats are making it for the administration to win this case.
Here’s a look at the states involved in this lawsuit: California, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia.
It’s worth noting that all of these states but one are governed by Democrats, but the more important thing to realize is that very few of them would be affected – in any meaningful, legal sense – by this executive order. What business is it of Virginia’s that President Trump is building a wall across the southern border of the United States? Maine? HAWAII? Are you kidding right now? The only states that have any reasonable standing whatsoever are California and New Mexico; a clearheaded judge will throw this lawsuit out on that basis before ever digging into the merits of the case.
Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to get to a “clearheaded” judge for some time. The plaintiffs cleverly filed their suit in the Federal District Court of San Francisco, all but guaranteeing them a sympathetic judge for the initial proceedings. And once the lower court has found in favor of the plaintiffs, the case will be appealed to – you guessed it – the Ninth Circuit Court. Say what you will about the Democrats, they know what they’re doing when it comes to shopping for a judge.
In an interview, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra made a weak, rambling argument for standing. He told the New York Times that “the president’s unconstitutional action could cause harms in many parts of the country.” Elaborating, he said that the states “could lose funding that they paid for with their tax dollars, money that was destined for drug interdiction or for the Department of Defense for military men and women and military installations.”
We’re not exactly sure what Becerra is getting at, but it almost sounds as though he’s telling the Times that these states would be hurt by the wall because they would immediately lose an influx of drug-dealing illegal immigrants. We surely hope that he takes that argument to court with him. That would prove tough for even the most Resistance-aligned judge to sign off on.
With the absurdity of this lawsuit in plain view, we may not even have to wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in.
Then again, we’ve thought that before. Never underestimate the willingness of a liberal judge to ignore the law in favor of a good ol’ “stick it to ‘em” ruling.