Minnesota attorney general talks about suing to block Trump from building border wall

Keith Ellison discusses his state's decision to be one of 16 to file a lawsuit to prevent the president from securing border wall funding via a national emergency declaration.
5:43 | 02/19/19

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Transcript for Minnesota attorney general talks about suing to block Trump from building border wall
We're joined now by one of those attorney generals who is sitting. There in Minnesota I think he Alison. One of the sixteen states that signed on to this lawsuit. I am I and struck by the fact that it is Minnesota. Of all places a thousand miles away from that southwest border that is signing and is this really of the fight for the state of Minnesota to be happening. Well. The answer is yes thin that it it it in this two solid justification that I happen. One is that the separation of powers imbedded in my US constitution. Is everybody's business there's nobody who's sort of out of the loop on that when congress. Has the responsibility. Enshrined in the constitution. Two. Of the purse and when the president can invoke emergency powers and then assumed their power. Then that is a dangerous thing if there is no legitimate emergency. In an emergency we allow it because circumstances dictated. And that's what every other president has been careful to make sure that there was a real emergency. Before. Such powers would be and vote because they are awesome and wide ranging. But not this one the second thing is. Is that you know when the president really allocates. Military. Drug interdiction in National Guard funds. This definitely has the fact that impacted the whole country. No matter how far it may be. Or from the border. So this impacts us constitutionally. And actually. We had that quote from you today that that Minnesota National Guard has over thirteen thousand soldiers and airmen. In plays more than she without not a full time basis. That 96% of the funding for the Minnesota National Guard comes the front of the federal government and at a loss about funding could negatively impact your state. But are you under the impression that that funding is what's on the chopping block here. The president is the one who would get a private funding. He's going to re allocate it he had been applied those sources. As funds he will shift. From. The appropriated. This to his were well. On mr. attorney general thanks. For joining us some Democrats have pointed to. What the president has done here. As a possible precedent for a future Democrat in the Oval Office to declare a national emergency on issues like. The appeal a crisis on climate change. On things that Democrats believe are a greater pressing national concern given the fact it now your office is challenging this. Do you believe that this is something that Democrats I should not do if if they. Take this back in the in the White House and in considered doing the sorts of actions. No. Should do good president just did. So look I do believe that popular crisis is a legitimate emergency in a certain sense. Well what you but but don't really know what you do in this situation. He's you go to congress to receive this is a serious problem we'll have to pitch hit let's get together. And put the policy and the funding together to address it. That actually has been done. Relatives and well. And the point six billion we want it was rejected. In a democratic process. By the US congress if a bill that he. And visually side. Only a few days ago. So what he's doing now isn't even run a route that process. Look there is a legitimate emergency in the president whoever that president may be. Feel that he or she passed invoke emergency powers to solve the problem. You know I'm may or may not agree but. I won't find within their discretion. Is well as a sub factual basis for it but it's set himself. But there is that I don't need the money I just wanna do it faster that is a statement that this is not an emergency. He's also just go up in the legislative process. He didn't like it in so he's going around. The bottom line is that is they abuse. The constitution. And nobody shoots to import. The president seems to concede in the last few days that he could very well lose this case. And circuit courts but that he likes his odds in the Supreme Court and that this lawsuit is definitely had and how do you like your odds. Well it is certainly could well be dare I hope that any judgment looks at this issue. We'll say the Apollo is this are available to president. Ever be a declaration of an emergency. Soul. Wide ranging. And solo home. Relatives. All of our constitution and the rights people have. That they can only be invoked in a legitimate emergency. You know look. Abraham Lincoln suspended the Arabia's corpus during the civil war that's an emergency I think war is an emergency. But in a situation like this are the president essentially conceded. They just didn't get what he won it hope that any judge you construe this weather to district court judge Supreme Court. Take it seriously and understand that they're not making a judicial decision for the moment they're not making it for a president who they like or don't like. I'm negative for the ages for our nation. And so I hope. Are we just don't get. Some partisan. Judicial decision making. At any level of the of our court system including the Supreme Court.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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