Trump administration can’t divert military funds for border wall construction, federal judge rules

A federal judge on Friday ruled that the Trump administration cannot use military funds to construct a wall at the southern border.

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam issued the permanent injunction in a California federal court a month after temporarily halting the use of military funds, which were diverted after President Trump declared a national emergency at the border.

Gilliam wrote that the administration’s lawyers were unable to provide any new evidence or an argument for why the court should reverse its previous decision. He also determined that groups suing to block the use of military funds would suffer “irreparable harm” over border wall construction because it would prevent them from enjoying public land along the border, adding that “the balance of public interest favors” is in favor of the groups opposing the wall. He did not, however, rule on whether the White House violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union initially filed the lawsuit on behalf of several organizations, arguing that the funds had already been denied by Congress.

The injunction will stop border wall construction at sites in in New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Texas.

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