Court Battles

ACLU to ask federal court to block Trump’s border wall funding transfers

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Thursday that it will ask a federal court to block President Trump’s additional border wall funding transfers after the administration declared it would redirect $3.8 billion from the Pentagon to the wall. 

The ACLU will challenge additional transfers by adding the request to its lawsuit against the president filed on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition last February, according to a press release.

The suit is disputing the constitutionality of the president’s ability to redirect funding for the wall after Congress had rejected the money in the federal budget, calling it an abuse of his emergency powers. 

“Multiple courts have ruled illegal Trump’s pillaging of military funds for his xenophobic border wall,” Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said. “Not one court has given his unlawful power grab the stamp of approval. We’ll be back in court to block these additional, unauthorized transfers.”

The Hill has reached out to the White House for further comment.

Congress received a notice Thursday saying the Defense Department is moving $3.8 billion from weapons programs such as the F-35 fighter jet to fund the border wall, which the president has promised would be largely finished by the end of this year. 

The notice said the money was being transferred to the “support of higher priority items” and is “required to provide support for counter-drug activities” at the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump first redirected money for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019, with $6.1 billion shifted to go to it last year, The Washington Post reported. Legal controversy has rocked the efforts to build the wall by the end of the election year, with federal judges such as Haywood Gilliam Jr. saying the redirecting of funds was unconstitutional.

But the Supreme Court ruled in July that the administration could continue to use military funding to build the wall.

Tags ACLU American Civil Liberties Union Border wall border wall funding Donald Trump federal court Lawsuit
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