A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Trump administration acted illegally when it transferred $ 2.5 billion in military construction projects to build parts of the wall on the southern border, a blow to the administration’s efforts to deliver on the campaign promise. 2016 from President Trump.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the administration illegally surrounded Congress to re-appropriate the funds. She spoke on a lawsuit filed by a coalition of border states, including California and environmental groups.
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“The panel affirmed the district court ruling that budget transfers of funds for the construction of a wall on the southern border of the United States in California and New Mexico were not authorized by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2019, “said the ruling.
The court concluded that “… the Executive Branch lacked independent constitutional authority to transfer the funds in question here” and that, therefore, “the transfer of funds was illegal.”
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“The panel noted that the Allocations Clause of the United States Constitution exclusively grants purse power to Congress. The panel argued that the transfer of funds violated the Allocations Clause and was therefore illegal.”
The court also ruled that the government was not in compliance with environmental regulations and therefore disadvantaged visitors to the region for nature-related activities, including birdwatching, and would also disturb wildlife.
The administration had changed the money after Trump declared a national emergency along the border amid the 2019 border crisis.
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The Supreme Court, in a ruling last year, had allowed the money to be spent while the litigation continued. States and private advocacy groups are now expected to return to the Supreme Court and request that it review its previous order allowing the funds to be used.
Trump visited the wall building in Yuma, Arizona, on Tuesday, where he marked more than 200 miles of wall under construction since he took office in 2017.
Associated Press contributed to this report.