The Trump administration does not have the authority to use military funds to pay for the construction of a border wall, a panel of the federal appeals court ruled Friday.
In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that diverting $ 2.5 billion from Congress had been appropriated for the military violates the Constitution and is illegal.
The executive branch “lacked independent constitutional authority to authorize the transfer of funds,” the ruling said. “These funds were allocated for other purposes, and the transfer amounted to ‘withdrawing funds from the Treasury without authorization by law and therefore violating the Allocations Clause.’ Therefore, the transfer of funds here was illegal.”
The decision confirmed a ruling by a federal judge in California that last year discovered that the Trump administration’s funding scheme was against the law.
The administration seized military money last year after Congress refused to allocate money for the wall. The president declared a national emergency at the border to access Pentagon money.
United States District Court Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. found that the administration was unable to demonstrate that the money was necessary for “unforeseen military requirements.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.