WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A district court judge has rejected the Democrats’ lawsuit that blocks President Donald Trump’s plan to finance border wall construction with the funds appropriated by Congress for other purposes.
- The House Democrats argued that the diversion of funds violated the doctrine of separation of powers specified in the U.S. Constitution.
- The Justice Department agreed with the court’s ruling and argued that the House ‘cannot ask the judiciary to take its side.’
A district court judge has denied the Democrats’ lawsuit that blocks the border wall funding.
The lawsuit was issued by the Democrats in the House of Representatives in the hopes of blocking President Donald Trump’s plan to finance border wall construction with the funds appropriated by Congress for other purposes.
U.S. Federal Judge Trevor McFadden of the District of Columbia ruled on Monday that the House lacked legal standing to sue Trump for diverting funds in order to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
McFadden declared, “While the Constitution bestows upon Members of the House many powers, it does not grant them standing to hale the Executive Branch into court claiming a dilution of Congress’s legislative authority. The Court therefore lacks jurisdiction to hear the House’s claims and will deny its motion.”
The House Democrats argued that the diversion of funds violated the doctrine of separation of powers specified in the U.S. Constitution.
The Justice Department agreed with the court’s ruling.
A spokesman for the department remarked, “The House of Representatives cannot ask the judiciary to take its side in political disputes and cannot use federal courts to accomplish through litigation what it cannot achieve using the tools the Constitution gives to Congress.”
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman, the Democrats are reviewing the ruling to decide on whether to appeal.
The ruling was issued in contrast to the May 24 decision by U.S. Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. of Oakland, California. Gilliam had issued a preliminary injunction that blocks the diversion of $1 billion in Defense Department funds to finance the border wall construction.
On May 30, Gilliam also ruled against the government’s attempts to start the wall construction while it appeals to a higher court.
After a drawn-out political battle and a government shutdown in February, the Congress approved $1.38 billion for the construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas. This is still way short of Trump’s demands of $6.7 billion.
Trump declared a national emergency in order to acquire additional funds. His administration also announced its plans to divert funds from several departments: $3.6 billion from military construction projects, $2.5 billion allotted for counter-narcotics programs of the Department of Defense, and $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund.