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9th Circuit Court refuses to grant border wall stay pending appeal

July 4, 2019

  Last week a Federal Judge in California ruled that Donald Trump could not reallocate $2.5 billion in defense spending to build a wall on the Mexican border. The Judge also refused to stay the decision pending appeal so the Trump administration tried to get an emergency stay from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I think we know how that went:

A divided federal appeals court panel has declined to remove a major roadblock to President Donald Trump’s plan to spend more than $8 billion for border wall construction despite Congress agreeing to give him only a fraction of that sum.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted, 2-1, to deny the Justice Department’s request for an emergency stay of a lower court judge’s injunction that blocked a budgetary maneuver the Trump administration sought to use to fund border projects in Arizona, New Mexico and California.

Two of the judges, Richard Clifton and Michelle Friedland, said in a 75-page order released Wednesday that the attempt to move Defense Department construction funds to the Department of Homeland Security appeared to be a violation of federal law and the Constitution’s delegation to Congress of the power to appropriate funds.

“The Constitution assigns to Congress the power of the purse. Under the Appropriations Clause, it is Congress that is to make decisions regarding how to spend taxpayer dollars,” Clifton and Friedland wrote. “Congress did not appropriate money to build the border barriers Defendants seek to build here. Congress presumably decided such construction at this time was not in the public interest. It is not for us to reach a different conclusion.”

  This was a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruling on an emergency stay which would have allowed the President to reallocate the funds while the appeals process was ongoing, and not a ruling on whether or not the President can reallocate said funds, but I think it is a pretty clear indication of how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is eventually going to rule in this case.

  Donald Trump has made some inroads in transforming the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but it looks like there is still work ahead…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

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