Ninth Circuit: Trump can’t use Pentagon cash for border wall

The case may still be considered, but the administration cannot build during the legal challenge.

“As for the public interest, we conclude that it is best served by respecting the Constitution’s assignment of the power of the purse to Congress, and by deferring to Congress’s understanding of the public interest as reflected in its repeated denial of more funding for border barrier construction,” wrote Judges Michelle Friedland, a Barack Obama appointee, and Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee.

A freeze imposed by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. of Oakland in May prevented work on two Pentagon-funded wall contracts — one spanning 46 miles (74 kilometers) in New Mexico and another covering 5 miles (8 kilometers) in Yuma, Arizona.

While the order applied only to those first-in-line projects, Gilliam made clear that he felt the American Civil Liberties Union was likely to prevail in their argument that Trump ignored Congress’ wishes by diverting Defense Department money.