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.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.