Trump admin asks Supreme Court to allow military funds for border wall construction

The Trump administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to intervene and issue an order that would allow it to move forward and use military funds for a wall on the southern border.

In the filing, the administration asked the court to lift a district court order that placed a permanent injunction on the Trump administration’s diversion of some military funds for the border wall.

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Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in his filing that he is asking for the justices to issue an “immediate administrative stay” of the injunction, as the Department of Justice appeals it to the 9th Circuit.

The request came after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week to not issue a stay on District Judge Haywood Gilliam’s order blocking officials from using some of the diverted military funds for the wall construction.

The panel of judges overseeing the appeal wrote in the 2-1 ruling that “the use of those funds violates the constitutional requirement that the Executive Branch not spend money absent an appropriation from Congress.”

And the majority opinion stated that there is a “strong likelihood” that the groups opposing the diversion of the Defense Department funds toward the border wall would succeed in their efforts.

The Supreme Court is on recess until October, but does release orders during the summer months.

In the filing, Francisco argues that the lower court’s findings that the Department of Defense (DOD) could not transfer the funds to the Department of Homeland Security and that the groups could bring forward the lawsuit are “demonstrably incorrect.”

"At a minimum, the lopsided balance of the equities favors staying the injunction pending appeal. Respondents’ interests in hiking, birdwatching, and fishing in designated drug-smuggling corridors do not outweigh the harm to the public from halting the government’s efforts to construct barriers to stanch the flow of illegal narcotics across the southern border,” the document states.

In a series of statements, the groups challenging the use of DOD funds for a border wall said they are determined to continue their legal fight.

“The courts have twice ruled against Trump’s requests to stay this important court order stopping construction of his ruinous wall. Now he is asking the Supreme Court to step in and save his wall, but we will continue to vehemently fight these tactics,” Gloria Smith, the managing attorney for the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

And Dror Ladin, an American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney who has argued the case in court, said the groups will “continue to defend the Constitution’s clearly defined separation of powers, which the Supreme Court has recognized for centuries.”

Trump declared a national emergency earlier this year to tap the military funds for a border wall at the end of a record 35 day government shutdown that centered around border security funds.

He has faced several lawsuits, including the one now being taken up to the Supreme Court, challenging the use of the military dollars for the wall.