On Feb. 15, after weeks of failed negotations with Democrats and following a record-setting government shutdown, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in hopes of diverting military funds to build his highly anticipated wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. It didn’t take long for the move to be challenged in the courts, and a liberal judge quickly issued a permanent nationwide injunction blocking it.
Now, however, the Supreme Court has decided to lift that injunction, meaning the Trump administration can proceed with border wall construction as planned — for now.
Another challenge for Trump
Trump had originally requested “$600 million from the Treasury Department’s forfeiture fund; $2.5 billion from Defense Department counter-narcotics activities; and $3.6 billion from military construction projects to finance construction of the wall,” according to the Daily Caller.
In pursuing the $2.5 billion in Defense funds, the Trump administration had logically concluded that a border wall, which would certainly help stem the inflow of illicit drugs, fit under the aegis of counter-narcotics operations.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam disagreed, however, and sided with the plaintiffs — led by environmentalist groups and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — to impose in June a total injunction against the transfer of the funds.
The three-judge panel of the historically liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in a 2-1 vote in early July, and the case was subsequently forwarded to the Supreme Court, where the justices’ ruling crushed liberals’ hopes and dreams.
Time to build the wall
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court issued a stay on Friday allowing Trump to use the $2.5 billion in military funding that was earmarked for counter-narcotics operations for his border wall — at least while the litigation against it makes its way through the court system over the next several months.
The court ultimately ruled that the plaintiffs in the case most likely had no standing to sue the government in this instance, and therefore, deemed the injunction unnecessary and baseless.
Rather than rule on the merits of the plaintiff’s claims, however, the court kicked the case back down to the district court level to proceed without the injunction in place.
Of course, the plaintiffs in the case have not conceded and have vowed to continue the fight against what they claim is “irreversible and imminent damage.”
It remains to be seen how their case will play out, but in the meantime, the Trump administration can now begin construction of a wall on a 100-mile stretch of the border that spans parts of Arizona, California, and New Mexico.
This definitely counts as another win for President Trump.