House Democrats are suing the Trump administration to block his national emergency and stop border wall construction

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heaps scorn on Attorney General William Barr, saying his letter about special counsel Robert Mueller's report was

Associated Press

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heaps scorn on Attorney General William Barr, saying his letter about special counsel Robert Mueller's report was "condescending," after Barr concluded there was no evidence that President Donald Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 28, 2019. Pelosi also defended House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who faced calls Thursday from Republicans to resign over his comments that there was significant evidence the president and his associates conspired with Russia. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • House leaders voted to sue the Trump administration Thursday, arguing the president's national emergency declaration violates the Constitution's Appropriations Clause.
  • Congress had previously failed to override Trump's veto of a resolution attempting to terminate the national emergency declaration.
  • There are already several lawsuits challenging the emergency declaration.

WASHINGTON - Leaders in the House of Representatives voted Thursday to file a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to build additional physical barriers along the United States border with Mexico.

The decision was made by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group and announced in a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.Advertisement

"The President's sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds have undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution," she said.

The lawsuit will argue that Trump's emergency declaration, which reprograms military funds to help build more miles of his border wall, violates the Constitution's Appropriations Clause.

"The President's action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority," Pelosi added. "Congress, as Article I - the first branch, co-equal to the other branches - must reassert its exclusive responsibilities reserved by the text of the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances."

The decision is unlikely to garner Republican support, as just more than a dozen joined Democrats in rebuking the emergency declaration, which resulted in Trump issuing the first veto of his presidency in March.Advertisement

The emergency declaration is already the subject of several other lawsuits as well, including one from a handful of states led by California. But until any action is taken, Trump's wall will continue to be built, both due to the funds Congress granted to end the partial government shutdown and with the diverted money from the emergency declaration.