The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 2-1 decision on Wednesday that prevents the Trump administration from using funding that Congress had earmarked for the military to begin building a wall along the US-Mexico border. The injunction will remain in place while the case is on appeal or until a higher court makes a different decision.
The Trump administration had asked the Ninth Circuit to overrule an injunction blocking his reappropriation of funds issued earlier in May by Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. of the US District Court for Northern California.
The Ninth Circuit reasoned that the Trump administration is “not likely to succeed on the merits of their appeal” and decided to preserve the integrity of Congress’s budgetary powers, stating that “[w]hen Congress chooses how to address a problem, “[i]t is quite impossible . . . to find secreted in the interstices of legislation the very grant of power which Congress consciously withheld,” as doing so is “not merely to disregard in a particular instance the clear will of Congress,” but “to disrespect the whole legislative process and the constitutional division of authority between President and Congress.”
Trump had declared a national emergency at the southern border and announced that he would divert military funds towards his border-barrier project in February after a standoff with Congress over funding for the border wall.