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Judge rejects Democrats' effort to block Trump's border emergency

A federal judge in D.C. has rejected an effort by House Democrats to block President Trump's use of emergency powers to reprogram military funds for his border wall.

"This is a case about whether one chamber of Congress has the “constitutional means” to conscript the Judiciary in a political turf war with the President over the implementation of legislation. ... [W]hile the Constitution bestows upon Members of the House many powers, it does not grant them standing to hale the Executive Branch into court claiming a dilution of Congress’s legislative authority. The Court therefore lacks jurisdiction to hear the House’s claims and will deny its motion."
— Judge Trevor McFadden

Context: Per the judge's opinion, the House was attempting to block the administration "from spending certain funds to build a wall along our southern border. The House argues that this expenditure would violate the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution 2 and usurp Congress’s authority. This harm, the House suggests, constitutes an 'institutional injury' supporting Article III standing."

  • The administration, meanwhile, argued that the court cannot intervene "because the Constitution grants the House no standing to litigate these claims."
  • The judge sided with the administration, adding: "To be clear, the Court does not imply that Congress may never sue the Executive to protect its powers." But he argues that House Democrats do not, in this case, overcome the constitutional burden to establish they have standing in this lawsuit.

Why it matters: It's a much needed legal victory for the Trump administration, which has lost two consecutive court battles with Democrats related to subpoenas for the president's financial records.

Read the judge's full opinion:

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