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Federal Judge Rules Against Border Wall Construction With Military Funds
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=51072"><span class="small">Barbara Campbell and Bobby Allyn, NPR</span></a>   
Saturday, 29 June 2019 12:59

Excerpt: "A federal judge in California has blocked President Trump from using $2.5 billion in military funding to build a southern border wall."

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, climb down a steep hill near the border wall into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico. (photo: Leah Millis/Reuters)
Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, climb down a steep hill near the border wall into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico. (photo: Leah Millis/Reuters)


Federal Judge Rules Against Border Wall Construction With Military Funds

By Barbara Campbell and Bobby Allyn, NPR

29 June 19

 

federal judge in California has blocked President Trump from using $2.5 billion in military funding to build a southern border wall.

The Trump administration sought to tap Department of Defense money to support the construction of portions of the president's long-promised border wall stretching across large swaths of the Mexican border with New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Those plans have now been halted after U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam sided with plaintiffs in two separate suits contending that the executive branch was overstepping its authority.

But the legal fight over border wall funding brought on by the two suits — one filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, and another suit filed by California along with 19 other states — is not over.

Trump, speaking to reporters at the end of a Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, called the ruling "a disgrace," and said the administration will be "immediately appealing."

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could take the case on as soon as next week.

The decision on Friday expanded a ruling Gilliam issued last month affirming Congress' absolute control over federal money, writing in May that the Trump administration attempting to circumvent Congress to use federal money for desired projects "does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic."

Since then, the judge wrote that the Trump administration has presented no evidence to cause a re-evaluation of the earlier decision.

"Defendants do not have the purported statutory authority to reprogram and use funds for the planned border barrier construction," wrote Gilliam, calling the Trump administration's plans "unlawful."

Sanjay Narayan, a lawyer for the Sierra Club, told NPR that the Trump administration indicated border wall construction could begin as soon as Monday, but the group's legal victory is preventing that from happening.

"The administration's core contention has been that Congress never denied funding for the wall, which runs into the fact that we had the longest government shutdown in American history precisely over whether or not the wall would be funded," Narayan said. "The court held that it is required not to ignore that reality and that Congress did deny funds for the wall."

The month-long partial government shutdown last winter stemmed from a standoff over border wall funding, with Congress allotting $1.3 billion for border fencing, far below what Trump had wanted.

Gilliam's ruling blocks $2.5 billion out of the $6.7 billion Trump hopes to divert from other government projects to pay for his prized wall.

The Sierra Club argued that building the border wall would inflict upon its members "irreparable harm" to their "recreational and aesthetic interests," including hiking, birdwatching and other activities that promote conservation along the border, the group said.

"The proposed wall goes through both border communities in which the Sierra Club has members and across public lands that are of enormous public value," Narayan told NPR. "The wall, if it's constructed, will be enormously disruptive to those communities and the wildlife on the lands."

Click here to read the Sierra Club v. Trump Order.

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+12 # DongiC 2019-06-29 14:54
The wall does harm to some other basic principles: like separation of powers and rule by law. Trump resembles more and more a dictator who would rule by fiat and not consent of the governed. He has broken his oath to defend and preserve the Constitution of the United States. He should be impeached and convicted and removed from office. What is Pelosi waiting for?
 
 
0 # Texas Aggie 2019-06-30 09:23
What is Pelosi waiting for? Who knows?

What does Phat Boy's oath to preserve the Constitution mean? No more than any of his other promises and obligations. There is a reason that so many suits were filed against him for nonpayment of services. His word is no good even when on a contract. No one should expect him to all of a sudden discover Jesus and decide to reform.
 
 
0 # Kootenay Coyote 2019-06-30 08:15
It is unconscionable, even if one accepts the hideous notion of the wall, that it occludes wildlife movement &c, when its purported purpose is only to exclude human beings.
 
 
0 # margpark 2019-06-30 14:20
So tomorrow we will see tweets from the president about those nasty Obama judges. (May they all live a long time.) Aside from being an ugly thing in a lovely place, the wall would inhibit the travel of wild animals who do not know the difference between the U.S. and Mexico.