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.
Administration filed motion to dismiss
Government to file administrative record
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.
Animal Legal Defense Fund challenges the renewed license for the owner of Wildlife on Wheels after evidence has revealed ongoing violations for more than a decadeMarch 9, 2021 Press Release
For years, captive wild animals have suffered in the care of traveling zoo operator Robert Sawmiller. On December 9, 2020 two wolves and a Labrador named Fancy were rescued and transported to sanctuary through legal action brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund — with the assistance of local counsel named Taylor Waters, U.S. Marshals, and the Auglaize County Sheriffs Office — executed a court order, seizing three animals from infamous wild and domestic animal breeder and broker Robert Sawmiller near Wapakoneta, Ohio.December 9, 2020 Press Release
Defenders of Wildlife v Elaine Duke
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. U.S. Department of Agriculture
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Bernhardt