Foreign Policy Digital

Security Brief: Constitutional Crisis Over Trump’s Wall; India, Pakistan on Edge

States sue to block construction of border wall; India, Pakistan military tensions ramp up following Kashmir attack.

In the latest twist in the saga of President Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a coalition of 16 states, including California and New York, filed a lawsuit on Monday over the commander-in-chief’s plan to use emergency powers to spend billions of dollars on the project.

Trump set off a constitutional confrontation on Friday when he declared a national emergency to circumvent Congress’ decision to limit funding for the wall, writes the New York Times. The suit, filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco, argues that the president does not have the power to divert funds for constructing the wall because it is Congress that controls spending

Although many critics have challenged whether an emergency truly exists on the Southern border that a wall would solve, the lawsuit is far from a slam dunk. Legal specialists told the Times they expect the Justice Department to urge a court not to consider facts about the border or Trump’s words, but rather to defer to the president’s decision. The courts have historically been reluctant to substitute their own judgment for the president’s about a security threat.

Two other cases have already been filed after Trump’s announcement, and at least two other lawsuits are expected later this week, including one from the American Civil Liberties Union. Meanwhile Congress is on its own separate track to challenge the president’s declaration.

Flashpoint. Tensions are rapidly escalating between India and Pakistan, with reports of Indian forces readying a strike across the Line of Control following an attack last week that killed 44 Indian soldiers.

“To the people who have gathered here, I would like to say the fire that is raging in your bosoms is in my heart too,” Indian Prime on Sunday during remarks at the opening of a public works project.

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