Why Courts May Take Time to Weigh In on Trump’s ‘Emergency’

(Bloomberg) -- Challengers to President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration sued to block the president’s plan within hours of his announcement, but so far they don’t seem to be in a rush to get immediate redress from the courts.

None of the parties that have sued so far have sought urgent injunctive relief, which would allow a federal judge to fast-track proceedings. California, which led 15 other states in suing the administration on Monday, is the first to get a hearing date and still the case won’t appear before a San Francisco magistrate judge until May 21.

The lack of urgency may reveal a dilemma at the heart of the case: There’s no clear emergency that requires the immediate commandeering of federal budget funds to create a thousand-mile (1,609-kilometer) wall along the southern U.S. border.

Things could change if the president moves forward. Courts in San Francisco and D.C. may receive requests for immediate action if the president mobilizes the Army Corp of Engineers to start constructing the barricade. That’s how states blocked earlier Trump policy mandates -- by arguing they caused an immediate harm -- including in cases over multiple iterations of the president’s travel ban, his family-separation policy and the end of protections for children of undocumented immigrants.

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