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article imageFederal judge blocks use of military funds for Trump border wall

By Karen Graham     May 25, 2019 in Politics
A California federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from using $1 billion diverted from military accounts, including pay and pension funds, to begin border wall construction.
On Friday, Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California immediately halted the administration's efforts to begin moving forward, as early as Saturday, with two wall projects to replace 51 miles of fence in Texas and Arizona.
Judge Gilliam did not rule on another $3.6 billion from military construction funds - budgeted as part of a national emergency declaration - since the administration has not yet identified a final plan to use those funds.
In his 56-page opinion, Judge Gilliam wrote Trump couldn't disburse the funds without congressional approval, citing the Executive branch's attempt to circumvent Congress as the reason for blocking the funds, according to ABC News.
The judge's ruling covers two cases brought under one lawsuit - California and 19 other states brought one lawsuit; the Sierra Club and a coalition of communities along the border brought the other.
It should be noted that this lawsuit is just one of a number of lawsuits brought against Trump's controversial decision to bypass Congress to pay for his long sought after border wall, reports the Associated Press.
"The position that when Congress declines the Executive's request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds 'without Congress' does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic," writes Gilliam.
"Congress’s 'absolute' control over federal expenditures — even when that control may frustrate the desires of the Executive Branch regarding initiatives it views as important — is not a bug in our constitutional system. It is a feature of that system, and an essential one," Gilliam wrote.
More about border wall, military funds, national emergency, Congressional approval, Politics
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