TRUMP’S SPENDING FOR WALL NIXED BY US APPEALS COURT

A federal appeals court on Friday said US President Donald Trump was wrong to divert $2.5 billion meant for the Pentagon to build part of his long-sought wall along the US-Mexico border, Jonathan Stampel wrote for Reuters early on June 217, 2020.


In a pair of 2-1 decisions, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the White House lacked constitutional authority for the transfer, noting that Congress had denied the funding and finding no “unforeseen military requirement” to justify it. The court also said California and New Mexico, which share a border with Mexico and were among 20 states suing the government, had legal standing to sue.

Chief Judge Sidney Thomas said “the Executive Branch’s failure to show, in concrete terms, that the public interest favors a border wall is particularly significant given that Congress determined fencing to be a lower budgetary priority and the Department of Justice’s own data points to a contrary conclusion.” Trump had declared a national emergency at the border in February 2019 to access the funds.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra praised the San Francisco-based court for halting Trump’s “unlawful money grab,” saying taxpayers deserve to know their money goes where Congress intends. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the decisions “a great victory for the rule of law,” saying Trump undermined military readiness to fulfill his “outrageous campaign promise” to build a wall. The appeals court also ruled that the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition could sue over the diversion and deserved an injunction.