Partnering with Harvard professor Laurence H. Tribe, as well as attorneys from Willkie Farr & Gallagher and O’Melveny & Myers, a team from Epstein Becker Green (“EBG”), on behalf of the County of El Paso, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights, took on a pro bono case to challenge the Trump administration’s national emergency declaration on the southern border. The team balanced liberal and conservative viewpoints in order to be seen as nonpartisan, dedicated only to the Constitution and rule of law rather than political action. Focusing on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019, the team successfully argued that the Trump administration’s emergency proclamation, redirecting funds identified by Congress for alternative uses to fully fund a border wall, was unlawful.

In October 2019, the Western District of Texas issued a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, enjoining the Trump administration from border barrier construction. The Hon. Stuart M. Gerson, who led EBG’s effort, commented on the decision: “While we presented a number of issues that we believed could support the relief we sought, the court’s opinion was economical, scholarly, and precise. I am particularly respectful of the fact that, in holding that both of our clients had standing to sue the administration, the court evidenced a persuasive understanding of the impact that the president’s actions have had on the community and its citizens.” Litigation is ongoing: an appeal is pending in the Fifth Circuit and a related protective petition has been filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The EBG team also included Erica Sibley Bahnsen, Neil P. Di Spirito, James P. Flynn, Sidra S. Galvin, Jonathan K. Hoerner, Michael L. Lynch, Amy B. Messigian, David S. PoppickDean R. Singewald II, Jessika Tuazon, and Carrie Valiant, among others.

EBG devoted 967 pro bono hours to the El Paso County client.

Related reading:

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.