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Appeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction

Appeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction
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A federal appeals court on Friday gave the Trump administration the green light for its plan to divert military funding for border wall construction, overturning a lower court decision.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision ruled that El Paso County and the nonprofit Border Network for Human Rights did not have the standing to go against the administration’s plan to take $3.6 billion from more than 100 military construction projects and that neither plaintiff was able to prove they were harmed by the plan.

The decision overturned a 2019 ruling by U.S. District Judge David Briones.

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Judge James Dennis wrote in his minority opinion supporting the county and the nonprofit that he could not join the majority because he believes the “2019 Consolidated Appropriation Act clearly prohibited the redirection of funds that underpins the border-wall.”

The Friday ruling follows an October decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the transfer of funds was illegal, upholding a request from the advocacy groups the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition against then-Defense secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump administration official Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief Watch Out: Progressives are eyeing the last slice of the budget Biden needs to fill the leadership gaps on Day One MORE, acting Homeland Security secretary Chad WolfChad WolfICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post Ex-DHS chief says Trump bears some responsibility for Capitol riots: 'What he says matters' Security concerns mount ahead of Biden inauguration MORE and “all persons acting under their direction ... from using military construction funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall.” 

The Supreme Court has already agreed to review that ruling, which the 5th Circuit said it disagreed with and would “decline to follow.”

The border wall was one of President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE’s top campaign promises in 2016 as he entered office with a vow to curb both legal and unauthorized immigration. He declared a national emergency in 2019 to transfer billions in military funds after he failed to reach a funding deal with Congress, leading to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE has said he intends to try to end the national emergency that allowed Trump to divert the Pentagon funds.