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States renew bid to block Trump use of military funds for border wall

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A coalition of 20 states has renewed efforts to legally block President Trump from using military funds for construction of a wall on the Mexico border after a judge denied their motion for a preliminary injunction last week.

The coalition, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D), filed another motion for an injunction Thursday, arguing the funds the Trump administration has proposed to use for the border wall are neither authorized nor appropriated by Congress for that purpose.

{mosads}“President Trump’s power is not unlimited,” Becerra said in a statement. “The President’s maneuver to divert taxpayer dollars meant to support Americans in their communities violates the Constitution and risks critical services reaching hardworking taxpayers and their families.”

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam, an Obama appointee, granted an injunction on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, but rejected the states’ motion. However, he wrote, “nothing presented by the Defendants suggests that its interpretation is what Congress had in mind when it imposed the ‘unforeseen’ limitation, especially where, as here, multiple agencies are openly coordinating in an effort to build a project that Congress declined to fund. The Court thus finds it likely that Plaintiffs will succeed on this claim.”

In addition to the “likely to succeed” claim, the states also argued the funding diversion would cause California “irreparable harm,” claiming in the filing that it would hurt the state’s ability to implement its own environmental protection laws and violated state sovereignty.

“But for the illegal diversion of DOD funding, Defendants would not have available the funding and resources to initiate the planned construction of a barrier on California’s southern border, consequently undermining the purposes of state environmental laws,” the motion states.

Tags Donald Trump Xavier Becerra

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