California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Freezes $2 Billion in Wall Funds

This picture taken on August 28, 2019 shows a portion of the wall under construction on the US-Mexico border seen from Chihuahua State in Mexico, some 100 km from the city of Ciudad Juarez. - The US Defence Department said on September 3 it was freeing up $3.6 billion in …
HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images

California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has frozen $2 billion in border wall funding, saying the President did not have the authority to shift the funds from various programs to the building the wall.

“The [three judge] panel held that the Executive Branch lacked independent constitutional authority to authorize the transfer of funds,” said the 2:1 decision in Sierra Club, Southern Border Communities Coalition vs. President Donald J. Trump. The decision continued:

The panel noted that the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress. The panel held that the transfer of funds violated the Appropriations Clause, and, therefore, was unlawful.

The decision likely will be appealed to Ninth Circuit judges and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. The administration is now using $15 billion in various finds to build roughly one mile of wall per day.

The administration will also ask for the decision to be suspended until the Supreme Court makes a final ruling.

One judge disagreed, according to the decision:

Judge [Daniel] Collins dissented. He agreed that at least the Sierra Club established Article III standing, but in his view the organizations lacked any cause of action to challenge the transfers. Even assuming that they had a cause of action Judge Collins would conclude that the transfers were lawful. Accordingly, he would reverse the district court’s partial summary judgment for the organizations and remand for an entry of partial summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

“We’re on pace to complete 450 miles by the end of the year and 500 miles almost immediately thereafter,” Trump said at a June 23 roundtable in Yuma, Arizona.

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