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Case Name Sierra Club v. Trump PR-CA-0004
Docket / Court 3:19-cv-00892 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Presidential Authority
Special Collection Take Care
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Northern California
Case Summary
In 2018, President Trump repeatedly requested Congress appropriate 5.7 billion dollars for the construction of a southern border wall. On February 14th, 2019, Congress denied this request and appropriated only 1.375 billion dollars for the construction of a strip of border fencing. While President ... read more >
In 2018, President Trump repeatedly requested Congress appropriate 5.7 billion dollars for the construction of a southern border wall. On February 14th, 2019, Congress denied this request and appropriated only 1.375 billion dollars for the construction of a strip of border fencing. While President Trump signed this appropriations bill the following day, he simultaneously declared a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act (NEA) and directed the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to reallocate funds already appropriated by Congress for military operations and projects to the construction of the southern border wall. The plaintiffs sued under the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4332; the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701–706; the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651; and under 28 U.S.C. § 2201.

Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition are nonprofit organizations who, along with their members, derive benefits from the land along the southern border. They claim the construction of a border wall will impede their enjoyment of these benefits and cause them to divert resources. In light of these harms, these organizations brought a joint lawsuit against President Trump, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

The plaintiffs lawsuit consists of both constitutional and statutory arguments. Congress has the exclusive authority to appropriate funds. While the President has authority to reallocate funding originally appropriated for military construction under the NEA, the plaintiffs argue this is an inappropriate exercise of this authority because (1) this is not a national emergency, (2) the construction of a border wall is not a military construction project and (3) the construction of the border wall is not “necessary to support such use of the armed forces.” Therefore, the plaintiffs argue the President’s declaration and subsequent direction to DHS and DOD to reallocate funds violates constitutional and statutory law. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because they failed to review the environmental impacts of the border wall construction project at the earliest possible time in the planning process and to involve the public in this decision-making process.

This case is ongoing.

Mackenzie Walz - 03/11/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Immigration/Border
Border wall
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) President of the United States
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of Homeland Security
Secretary of Treasury
Plaintiff Description Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, non-profit organizations who derive benefits from land along the southern border.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Northern California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
4:19-cv-00892 (N.D. Cal.)
PR-CA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/07/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PR-CA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/19/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Gilliam, Haywood Stirling Jr. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Donatti, David A. (Texas) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Ladin, Dror (New York) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Lee, Mollie M. (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Narayan, Sanjay (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Segura, Andre Ivan (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Shamsi, Hina (New York) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Smith, Gloria D. (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Sun, Christine Patricia (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000
Zafar, Noor (New York) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0004-0001 | PR-CA-0004-9000

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