A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Trump administration does not have the legal authority to use military funding to pay for the construction of a border wall.
After Congress refused to provide funding for the border wall, the White House decided to take $2.5 billion out of the budget from the U.S. military to pay for the construction of a portion of a wall on the United States-Mexico border. President Donald Trump declared an emergency at the border and used that as justification to use military funds to cover the cost of the construction.
California led a group of states in a lawsuit against the Trump administration and won an early victory last year when a federal judge ruled that taking the funds appropriated by Congress to the military and using them to pay for the wall was illegal.
In a 2-1 decision, the panel agreed with the judge's decision and ruled that it was 'unlawful' for the Trump administration to take the money.
"These funds were appropriated for other purposes, and the transfer amounted to 'drawing funds from the Treasury without authorization by statute and thus violating the Appropriations Clause.' Therefore, the transfer of funds here was unlawful," the ruling states.
The Trump administration is expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
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