Appeals court OKs Trump taking military money for border wall

Appeals court OKs Trump using military funds for border wall
FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2019, file photo President Donald Trump smiles before addressing members of the military during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Trump has held himself up as a champion of U.S. troops without rival. Now, with his presidency on the line, he’s casting suspicion on a tool of participatory democracy, the mail-in ballot, that has allowed U.S. military personnel to participate in elections while serving far from home since the War of 1812. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

A federal appeals court handed President Donald Trump’s administration a major victory over construction projects for a border wall.

The court ruled Friday that a lower court was wrong to bar the administration from taking $3.6 billion from military constructions for a border wall.

From Fox News:

A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that El Paso County and the nonprofit Border Network for Human Rights did not have the standing to challenge President Donald Trump’s redirecting funds from more than 100 military construction projects, including a $20 million road project at a base located in the city.

The appeals court found that neither the county nor the Border Network proved it was directly harmed by Trump’s move. The court reversed a December 2019 ruling by U.S. District Judge David Briones.

In early 2019, President Trump took roughly $6 billion from military funds under a national emergency after Congress refused to fully finance his demands for the border wall, leading to the longest government shutdown in history.

President-elect Joe Biden promised to end that national emergency, however the Trump administration has locked in construction contracts with the funding and already built many new stretches of wall across the southwest border.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already agreed to review a different ruling on the use of military construction funds. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previously agreed with a coalition of border states and environmental groups that contended the transfer of money was unlawful and that building the wall would pose environmental threats.

The 5th Circuit on Friday disagreed with the 9th Circuit’s ruling and would “decline to follow it.”