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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

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

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