An appeals court ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is not allowed to divert funds from the Pentagon to build a wall along the U.S. southern border. Trump had previously attempted to use the money to fulfill a 2016 campaign promise that he would build the wall and eventually make Mexico pay for it.
A three judge-court in San Francisco decided Wednesday that the Trump administration could not use Defense Department money intended for preventing drug trade and crime to build sections of the wall in Arizona, California and New Mexico. Earlier this year, the president declared a national emergency at the U.S. border which he said would allow him to take the billions necessary from the Pentagon to build his wall. This court issue is certainly a blow to that plan.
While the case can be appealed once again, the judges said that all work on the wall will have to stop until another ruling is issued.
“As for the public interest, we conclude that it is best served by respecting the Constitution’s assignment of the power of the purse to Congress, and by deferring to Congress’s understanding of the public interest as reflected in its repeated denial of more funding for border barrier construction,” wrote Judges Michelle Friedland and Richard Clifton in their response to the administration.
Trump’s legal team has already appealed the decision.
Nicole Goodkind is a political reporter at Newsweek. You can reach her on Twitter @NicoleGoodkind or by email, N.Goodkind@newsweek.com.
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