Supreme Court allows Trump administration to begin border wall construction with Defense Department funds
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Supreme Court allows Trump administration to begin border wall construction with Defense Department funds

The US Supreme Court has granted the Trump administration’s application for stay of injunctions that would freeze $2.5 billion of Department of Defense (DOD) funds the administration planned to use for construction of the border wall.

President Donald Trump has been battling Congress for funds to use in constructing a border wall along the southern border of the US since his election in 2016. This battle came to a head in the government shutdown with the Democratically held House of Representatives late last year. Since then, the Trump administration has pursued a plan to build the wall by reallocating funds from other departments toward its construction. Trump declared a national emergency to fund the border wall earlier this year.

The DOD funds in question here were reprogrammed toward the wall on the basis that the wall is necessary for national security. A lower court had granted injunctions filed by the Sierra Club and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, but this Supreme Court order overturns those decisions. The vote was 5-4 in favor of the stay with Justice Stephen Breyer writing separately from the majority, arguing that the government should be allowed to prepare for construction, but be prevented from beginning construction until the case was resolved. Breyer agreed to the stay because he viewed the injunctions as having the effect of preventing construction due to organizational delays even if the court ruled in the government’s favor.

Trump tweeted a response to the ruling and the administration plans to move forward with construction.