CNN

Trump can’t divert military funds for border wall, federal appeals court says

Jun 26, 2020, 3:54 PM | Updated: 3:55 pm
United State Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott gives President Donald Trump a tour of a section of t...
United State Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott gives President Donald Trump a tour of a section of the border wall, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in San Luis, Ariz. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Originally Published: 26 JUN 20 14:08 ET

(CNN) — The Trump administration doesn’t have the authority to divert Pentagon funds to construct additional barriers on the US-Mexico border, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, days after President Donald Trump’s visit to a section of the wall in Arizona.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that the transfer of $2.5 billion circumvented Congress, which holds the authority to appropriate money.

The legal fight over Defense Department funds stems from Trump’s national emergency declaration on the US-Mexico border last year. Trump extended the declaration this past February, even as border arrests began to decline.

“The Executive Branch lacked independent constitutional authority to authorize the transfer of funds,” wrote Chief Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas for the majority. “The panel noted that the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress. The panel held that the transfer of funds violated the Appropriations Clause, and, therefore, was unlawful.”

While Friday’s ruling is a win for the environmental groups and states challenging the use of military funds, a Supreme Court stay, issued last year that allows the funds to be used, remains in effect for the time being.

The American Civil Liberties Union applauded Friday’s ruling. “President Trump’s xenophobic wall is already leveling protected lands, desecrating cultural sites, and destroying wildlife,” said Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “There’s no undoing the damage that’s been done, but we will be back before the Supreme Court to finally put a stop to this destructive wall.”

Three years into his presidency, Trump has faced a host of legal challenges over his border wall and his attempt to bolster the effort with additional funds from other government accounts.

Still, the President has touted progress of his border wall. The administration billed Trump’s first 2020 trip to the border this week as a celebration of the completion of 200 miles of new wall system.

“My administration has done more than any administration in the history to secure our southern border. Our border has never been more secure,” he told officials. The administration has said it intends to build 450 miles by the end of the year.

Last summer, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to use $2.5 billion from the Pentagon to construct parts of a wall along the southwestern border.

The decision allowed the Defense Department money to be spent now while the court battle played out over whether the government had the authority to divert funds that were not appropriated for the wall. The Supreme Court voted 5-4, along ideological lines, to allow the funds to be used while the court appeals proceed.

The departments of Justice and Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Cosmic seaplanes and self-growing bricks could help us explore other worlds

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently than ever before.
1 day ago
The Chinese national flag is seen at the entrance to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing...
By Zachary Cohen, CNN

A look at China’s history of spying in the US

The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that violated American airspace this week has fueled a diplomatic crisis with the postponement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's planned trip to Beijing.
1 day ago
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, U.S. February 1, 2023, in this picture obtained ...
Zachary Cohen, CNN

US military has shot down the Chinese spy balloon off US East Coast, US official says

The US military has shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard, a US official said Saturday.
1 day ago
The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
1 day ago
A high altitude balloon floats over Billings, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. The U.S. is tracki...
Oren Liebermann, Haley Britzky and Michael Conte, CNN

Pentagon tracking suspected Chinese spy balloon over the US

(CNN) — The US is tracking a suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon over the continental United States, defense officials said on Thursday, a discovery that risks adding further strain to tense US-China relations. Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said the US government has been tracking the balloon for several days as it made its way over […]
2 days ago
A federal law that prohibits people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing...
Tierney Sneed, CNN

Court says gun law targeting domestic violence suspects is unconstitutional

 (CNN) — A federal law that prohibits people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms is unconstitutional, a conservative-leaning appeals court ruled Thursday. The ruling is the latest significant decision dismantling a gun restriction in the wake of the Supreme Court’s expansion of Second Amendment rights last year in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Trump can’t divert military funds for border wall, federal appeals court says