California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Freezes $2 Billion in Wall Funds

California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has frozen $2 billion in border wall funding, saying the President did not have the authority to shift the funds from various programs to the building the wall.

“The [three judge] panel held that the Executive Branch lacked independent constitutional authority to authorize the transfer of funds,” said the 2:1 decision in Sierra Club, Southern Border Communities Coalition vs. President Donald J. Trump. The decision continued:

The panel noted that the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress. The panel held that the transfer of funds violated the Appropriations Clause, and, therefore, was unlawful.

The decision likely will be appealed to Ninth Circuit judges and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. The administration is now using $15 billion in various finds to build roughly one mile of wall per day.

The administration will also ask for the decision to be suspended until the Supreme Court makes a final ruling.

216 miles of new border wall system completed. Construction underway on an additional 339 miles.

The border wall system makes it easier for Border Patrol to stop illegal border crossings, drug smuggling and human trafficking activities. https://t.co/RM2TyJizcV pic.twitter.com/ROeXKiISmW

— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) June 23, 2020

One judge disagreed, according to the decision:

Judge [Daniel] Collins dissented. He agreed that at least the Sierra Club established Article III standing, but in his view the organizations lacked any cause of action to challenge the transfers. Even assuming that they had a cause of action Judge Collins would conclude that the transfers were lawful. Accordingly, he would reverse the district court’s partial summary judgment for the organizations and remand for an entry of partial summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

“We’re on pace to complete 450 miles by the end of the year and 500 miles almost immediately thereafter,” Trump said at a June 23 roundtable in Yuma, Arizona.

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