Challenging Emergency Declaration for Border Wall
Center for Biological Diversity v. Donald Trump
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit arguing that the administration’s emergency declaration — to justify constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — was unlawful.
March 23, 2022
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and several officials within the Trump administration, arguing that President Trump’s emergency declaration, redirecting $6 billion in federal funds to pay for walls along the United States’ southern border, exceeds his executive power under the Constitution, the National Emergencies Act, and other federal laws. The lawsuit was filed with the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife.
The lawsuit argues that the proposed border walls threatens animals — including endangered species — in numerous ways, such as restricting their movement and passage, which could lead to “extirpation” or localized extinction. Moreover, it is believed that some of the $6 billion in redirected funds will be taken from programs to combat wildlife trafficking, posing another threat to animals.
Who is being sued, why, and under what law? President Donald Trump and members of his administration, for exceeding executive authority and violating the U.S. Constitution, the National Emergencies Act, and other federal laws.
What court is the lawsuit filed in? United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Why this case is important: A human-made barrier on the scale of the proposed border wall would have a serious impact on animals. Such a structure would cause immediate and long-term harm to countless species, including the more than 100 endangered or threatened species living along the border.
Animal families would be divided, breeding and migratory patterns would be disrupted, and many species like Mexican gray wolves, jaguars, and ocelots may be driven to extinction.
As the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund will not stand for a government plan that so plainly threatens animals and violates the law.
Join the Animal Legal Defense Fund's email list to stay up to date on lawsuits, legislation, and regulations affecting animals.
Endangered Species Act Rollbacks Reversed After Animal Legal Defense Fund Lawsuit
Endangered Species Act Rollbacks Reversed After Animal Legal Defense Fund LawsuitU.S. District Court has ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund following its lawsuit to vacate rules imposed by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2019 under the Trump administration that weakened the Endangered Species Act (ESA).July 8, 2022 Press Release
Animal Legal Defense Fund Adds $5,000 to Reward in Case of Endangered Red Wolf ShootingReward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for illegally shooting and killing a red wolf in Tyrrell County, North Carolina.May 24, 2022 Press Release
Lawsuit Filed Against Tiger Creek for Violating Endangered Species ActThe lawsuit alleges federally endangered and threatened animals such as the tigers, lions, and ring-tailed lemurs are receiving inadequate care at Tiger CreekMarch 16, 2022 Press Release
Enforcing Legislation That Protects Wildlife Near the Mexican Border
Defenders of Wildlife v. Elaine Duke
Demanding USDA Revoke Animal Welfare Act License from Texas Exhibitor Jason Clay
Complaint to USDA submitted January 2022
Challenging Tiger Creek for Violating the Endangered Species Act
ALDF v. National Foundation for Rescued Animals
Looking for case and legal resources? View ResourcesSee More
Donate to Protect Animals
Help animals win the legal protections they so desperately need and deserve, and ensure they have an advocate in courtrooms and legislatures across the country.