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President Trump at the 200th mile of border wall in San Luis, Arizona, on June 23. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images.

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Trump administration's transfer of $2.5 billion from the Pentagon for southern border wall construction was an illegal breach of its executive authority, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Much of the money has already been awarded by the administration, AP reports. The long-term consequences of Friday's ruling are also uncertain, since it "only affects a portion of the funds the White House has budgeted" for border wall construction, per the Post.

Between the lines: A Supreme Court ruling in July did not determine whether the administration’s transfer of Pentagon funds was legal; it lifted a 9th Circuit Court injunction that froze military fund transfers, per the Post. The ruling allowed the Pentagon to redirect $2.5 billion to the Department of Homeland Security for border wall projects.

What they're saying: "The Executive Branch’s failure to show, in concrete terms, that the public interest favors a border wall is particularly significant given that Congress determined fencing to be a lower budgetary priority and the Department of Justice’s own data points to a contrary conclusion," the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals majority opinion issued Friday reads.

Where it stands: Private contractors have finished roughly 220 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, per the Post.

What's next: The administration is expected to appeal Friday's ruling to the Supreme Court.

Go deeper: Trump admin says it completed 100th mile of southern border wall

Go deeper

SCOTUS to hear FCC media deregulation case

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case brought to it by the Federal Communications Commission, with support from the National Association of Broadcasters, about the FCC's longtime attempts to relax media ownership rules.

Why it matters: The case will determine whether a 2017 FCC rule allowing broadcast companies to own more than one of the top four stations in a market can stand. If it does, it will likely usher in even more local broadcast consolidation in the U.S.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."