A federal judge in California ruled against the Trump administration on Friday in two different cases, ultimately preventing $2.5 billion in federal funds from being used for a border wall in portions of California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona.
U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam in Oakland, California said in a pair of rulings that the Trump administration's proposal to transfer Defense Department funds intended for anti-drug activities was unlawful.
Trump has repeatedly stressed the necessity of the construction of a border wall as a solution to end the humanitarian crisis in the southern border that includes human trafficking, including minors, along with other problems, and most importantly, drug smuggling into the United States, which kills thousands of Americans every year.
"All President Trump has succeeded in building is a constitutional crisis, threatening immediate harm to our state", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led a 20-state coalition of attorneys general in one lawsuit.
But, during a press conference, President Trump said they are appealing the ruling and he thinks the administration will win.
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Administration lawyers presented "no new evidence or argument for why the court should depart from its prior decision, and it will not", Gilliam wrote in his ruling, which was released late Friday. Trump's team also asserted that the states and groups who filed suit had no standing to block the projects. The president has since denounced the ruling as being against border security, and in favor of crime.
"This decision upholds the basic principle that the president has no power to spend taxpayer money without Congress' approval", he added.
"Because no new factual or legal arguments persuade the court that its analysis in the preliminary injunction order was wrong, [the groups'] likelihood of success on the merits has ripened into actual success", Gilliam said in his ruling.
The Sierra Club argued that building the border wall would inflict upon its members "irreparable harm" to their "recreational and aesthetic interests", including hiking, birdwatching and other activities that promote conservation along the border, the group said. Gilliam is once again citing "Congress's "absolute" control over federal expenditures" in his reasoning, but these weren't requests for new allocations of funding. 5 billion transferred into a Defense Department counterdrug program from military pay and training accounts.
But even if you disagree with the emergency declaration or even if it hadn't been declared, the President is authorized to assign such military spending and manpower to construct a wall.