May 24, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Judge issues temporary injunction blocking part of Trump's border wall

Border wall along the U.S. Mexico border

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A federal judge issued a temporary injunction on Friday night immediately blocking the transfer of funding and halting the construction of parts of President Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, reports the Washington Post.

"The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic."
— Judge Haywood Gilliam in his opinion for the temporary injunction, per Politico

Why it matters: Federal Judge Haywood Gilliam issued the injunction saying it was "unconstitutional" for the Trump administration to transfer funds for the border wall that Congress allocated for other purposes. Construction — now postponed — was expected to begin as early as Saturday.

  • The injunction will only limit construction in specific border areas in Arizona and Texas, and does not prevent the administration from transferring funds from other sources, Politico reports.

The backdrop: The injunction resulted from a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition against the administration's diversion of billions of dollars.

  • Six contracts have been awarded for construction using the money at question, with additional contracts pending, per the Washington Post.
“This order is a win for our system of checks and balances, the rule of law, and border communities. The court blocked all the wall projects currently slated for immediate construction. If the administration begins illegally diverting additional military funds, we'll be back in court to block that as well.”
— Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, who argued the case

Go deeper: Billions from military projects could fund Trump's border wall

Go deeper