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Court Revives House's Challenge Of Trump Wall Funding

Court Revives House's Challenge Of Trump Wall Funding

A federal appeals court on Friday revived a House challenge of President Donald Trumps use of Defense Department money to build a border wall after Democrats refused to provide funding he requested.

HOUSTON: A federal appeals court on Friday revived a House challenge of President Donald Trumps use of Defense Department money to build a border wall after Democrats refused to provide funding he requested.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed a lower courts dismissal of the House Democrats lawsuit. The appeals panel found the House had been wrongly cut out of its constitutionally indispensable legislative role when Trump unilaterally moved about $8 billion to border wall construction.

Congress power to appropriate spending is a core structural protection of the Constitution a wall, so to speak, between the branches of government that prevents encroachment of the Houses and Senates power of the purse, the panel wrote.

The case now returns to the court of U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, who had initially ruled that Congress lacked the authority to sue in April 2019.

The Justice Department did not immediately comment.

House Democrats sued three months after the end of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, triggered by Trump’s demand for border wall funding.

The president later signed a funding bill that included $1.4 billion for border barriers, short of the $5.7 billion he had demanded from Congress. But he then declared a national emergency to secure billions more in funding denied by Democrats controlling the House, in part by taking money for military housing and counterdrug programs.

The move triggered several legal challenges, including the one by House Democrats. Another appeals court ruled in June against the transfer of money from military construction projects. But the U.S. Supreme Court in July declined to order wall construction stopped while the case continued. The high court’s four liberal justices dissented. One of those four, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died Sept. 18.

The three-judge panel consisted of Senior Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle, nominated to the court by former President Ronald Reagan, and two nominees of former President Barack Obama: Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins.

Building a border wall was one of Trump’s signature campaign pledges four years ago, though he promised then that Mexico would pay for the wall.

The U.S. Border Patrol says it has completed 321 miles (517 kilometers) of wall during the Trump administration, though almost all of that is replacing existing barriers.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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