9th Circuit blocks emergency funding for border wall, as White House vows appeal

Fox News | 11/5/2018 | Gregg Re
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The protests were part of a national day of action with events taking place in more than 180 locations.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld an injunction barring the Trump administration from repurposing approximately $2.5 billion in Pentagon money to the Department of Homeland Security to build a border wall with Mexico, prompting the White House to promise an immediate appeal.

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A divided three-judge panel on the appellate court agreed with a lower court ruling that prevented the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of wall in Arizona and New Mexico.

In February, Trump ended a 35-day government shutdown after Congress gave him far less than he wanted. He then declared a national emergency that the White House said would free billions of dollars from the Pentagon.

Ruling - Circuit - Panel - Section - Department

In its ruling, the 9th Circuit panel noted that Section 8005 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2019 "authorizes the Secretary of Defense to transfer funds for military purposes if the Secretary determines that the transfer is 'for higher priority items, based on unforeseen military requirements' and 'the item for which funds are requested has [not] been denied by the Congress.'"

But according to the 2-1 majority on the appellate court panel, the "need for which the funds were reprogrammed was not 'unforeseen,' and it was an item for which funds were previously 'denied by Congress.'"

Judges - Trump - Administration - Appropriations - Clause

Additionally, the judges ruled, the Trump administration likely had violated the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution, which states that "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

The 9th Circuit's ruling was not a final judgment on the merits of the case, which may still be considered by the appellate court and Supreme Court. But the administration cannot build during the legal challenge.


"Congress and now two...
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