Friday was apparently the day that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts flipped the magic coin he carries around in his pocket now and it came up “conservative.” In one of the latest rulings handed down by the justices, it was determined that the President is allowed to use $2.5 billion in reallocated Pentagon funds to continue construction on the wall. (That would be the wall that didn’t actually blow down during a recent hurricane.) It was yet another 5-4 decision, with Roberts voting with the court’s four conservative justices and all of the liberal justices opposing. And that should be the end of that. (The Hill)
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to block the Trump administration from using $2.5 billion in reallocated Pentagon funds to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
In a 5-4 ruling that broke along ideological lines, the court’s conservative majority denied a bid by interest groups to halt construction after a federal appeals court last month said the use of defense funding for the project is illegal. The court’s four more liberal justices dissented from the ruling.
The Sierra Club, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other challengers had asked the justices to lift their order from last July that allowed President Trump to begin spending the funds while legal challenges proceeded through the courts.
This has truly been a curious case from the beginning. None of the funds in question were “new” or in some way misappropriated. The money had already been appropriated for the military. And as we’ve discussed here in the past, there are provisions under federal law that allow the military (and/or their subcontractors) to engage in construction activity with a certain number of miles of the border. And yet the plaintiffs were able to find a court in California to declare the use of the money unconstitutional and now four justices on the Supreme Court were willing to say the same.