A federal appeals court today overruled a lower court’s order blocking the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion earmarked for military projects to help construct President Donald Trump’s long-promised southern border wall.
Breaking News: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed a lower court decision & gave us the go ahead to build one of the largest sections of the desperately needed Southern Border Wall, Four Billion Dollars. Entire Wall is under construction or getting ready to start!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2020
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of the president, saying the Trump administration is “entitled to the same relief” that was granted by the Supreme Court because of the strong likelihood that plaintiffs El Paso County, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights lack the legal standing to challenge the use of the funds.
The Supreme Court in July ruled that the Trump administration could use $2.5 billion in funding set aside for military use while the legal drama plays out in courts.
A final ruling on whether or not it’s legal to divert funds appropriated by Congress to military projects for Trump’s border wall will come at a later date.
The Constitution of the United States gives Congress the sole authority to appropriate taxpayer funds, so the argument is over whether the White House has the authority to override Congress in this matter. Democrats and some Republicans agree that Trump does not have this authority.
Last February, Trump declared a national emergency in order to divert about $6 billion from military projects to build the wall, but the Senate voted to block the reappropriation. However, it lacked a veto-proof super majority.
“The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has lifted an illegitimate nationwide injunction entered by a lower court, and in doing so has allowed vital border wall construction to move forward using military construction funds,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “This is a victory for the rule of law. We are committed to keeping our borders secure, and we will finish the wall.”
Dissenting Judge Stephen Higginson said he agrees with the other judges “that this matter presents a ‘substantial case on the merits’ and involves a ‘serious legal question.'”
However, “I am unable to agree, without focused panel deliberation and discussion — possibly aided by dialogue with counsel — that the government presently has shown either a likelihood of success on the merits or irreparable harm in the absence of a stay,” he said.
Editor’s note: A recent Fox News poll showed only 44% of the public are in favor of a border wall while 52% oppose it, which is surprising considering how conservative Fox News’ audience is. Are you in favor of the border wall? Share your thoughts below.