SCOTUS overturns injunction on border wall funds

The Supreme Court on July 26 reversed a lower court decision that blocked President Trump from using $2.5 billion from military accounts to build a portion of his pledged border wall. The order lifts an injunction from a federal judge in a case brought by the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition challenging Trump's February declaration of a national emergency to access more than $8 billion to build the wall. US District Judge Haywood Gilliam in Northern California issued the permanent injunction blocking the administration from accessing $2.5 billion in diverted military funds, finding that construction would cause "irreparable harm" to the challengers' interests at the border. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month declined to lift that injunction. The Supreme Court's conservative majority found that the administration had "made a sufficient showing at this stage" that the challengers do not have standing to block the diversion of the funds.

The case concerns $2.5 billion the administration says will be used to used to build more than 100 miles of fencing. One project would replace 46 miles of barrier in New Mexico for $789 million. Another would replace 63 miles in Arizona for $646 million. The case remains pending before the Nonth Circuit. (Courthouse News Service, AP, Reuters, The Hill)

Pentagon diverts funds for border wall

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has authorized the diverting of $3.6 billion in military construction funds for 11 wall projects on the border with Mexico, according to  a letter from Esper to the Senate Armed Services Committee. In his letter, Esper told Congress he has "determined that 11 military construction projects along the international border with Mexico, with an estimated total cost of $3.6 billion, are necessary to support the use of the armed forces in connection with the national emergency." (CNN)

Senate votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration

The US Senate on Sept. 25 voted to overturn President Trump‘s declaration of a national emergency on the US-Mexico border. Eleven Republicans joined the vote forced by Senate Democrats to pass the revocation by a vote of 54-41.

In March, Senate Democrats forced a similar vote under the terms of the National Emergencies Act of 1976. That earlier vote passed with 12 Senate Republicans voting in favor of revoking the emergency declaration–largely out of the fear that such a precedent would set if and when a Democratic president assumes the White House. The first revocation vote was ultimately killed by a presidential veto which Congress was unable to defeat by the required two-thirds majorities in each chamber.

Trump is widely expected to veto the new bill as well. (Law & Crime)