In a 5-4 decision on Friday, the Supreme Court overturned two decisions by a federal judge that had barred the Trump administration from using military money for the wall. The federal judge had ruled the executive branch could not appropriate money for a purpose not specifically authorized by Congress.
“Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall,” Trump tweeted in response to the Supreme Court’s decision.
The money in question comes from the Pentagon’s budget; it had been initially approved for military personnel and training purposes. In two separate cases earlier this year, US District Court Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. of Oakland blocked these funds from being reappropriated and put toward building a border wall. The administration argued that such redistribution of government funds was allowable given the president had declared a national emergency at the border in February.
The cases heard by Gilliam were lawsuits brought by the ACLU on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, something that became key to the Supreme Court’s decision. In its ruling, the Supreme Court found that private groups are not appropriate parties to challenge the allocation of federal dollars.