Judge rejects Trump administration request to start border wall construction despite injunction

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A federal judge on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s request to start using diverted military funds to build a wall on the southern border while officials appeal the judge’s prior ruling blocking them from using those funds for wall construction.

California U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam, an Obama appointee, had on Friday issued a preliminary injunction that stopped President Trump from using some diverted Department of Defense funding. On Thursday Gilliam again decided against administration officials who sought to pause his previous ruling.

{mosads}Gilliam made Thursday’s ruling in a written order, and did not issue an opinion along with it.

Administration officials had in a filing on Wednesday requested the stay while they appeal Gilliam’s ruling, asking that the judge either immediately reject their request or make a ruling by June 5.

The officials said that they will appeals their case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
They asked for the stay “so that construction and funding for these two border barrier projects can continue.”

“Unless stayed, the Court’s injunction will irreparably harm the Government (and the public) by prohibiting the Government from taking critical steps to stop the flow of illegal drugs from entering the country through the southern border,” the filing read.

They also claimed that the preliminary injunctions will “impose irreparable injury” to the Department of Defense “by forever denying it the ability to use these funds for the projects” before the funds expire at the end of the fiscal year in September.
Gilliam had ruled in favor of groups including the Sierra Club and the ACLU in granting the preliminary injunction.
“The Constitution is clear that the president has no power to spend taxpayer money without Congressional authorization,” ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin said in a statement after Gilliam’s order on Thursday. “It is not surprising the court upheld this bedrock principle of our democracy — as courts have for centuries.”
The ACLU also filed a motion late Wednesday asking for a supplementary preliminary injunction to stop the administration from using another $1.5 billion in military funds for building a wall. A group of states led by California made a similar request to Gilliam on Thursday, also asking him to stop Trump from using the same Defense Department funds.
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., is also considering a separate request for a preliminary injunction to stop Trump from using the diverted military funds for border wall construction.
That lawsuit was filed by House Democrats, who argue that diverting the funds under Trump’s national emergency declaration issued earlier this year violates Congress’s authority to appropriate funds.
But Justice Department lawyers argued in court earlier this month to Judge Trevor McFadden — a Trump appointee — that the House shouldn’t even be allowed to sue the administration.
Tags Border wall Donald Trump

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