Washington: The US Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for the Trump administration to use $2.5 billion from the Department of Defence to construct parts of a wall along the southwestern border that the government argues is necessary to protect national security.
According to reports, the decision allows the Trump administration to redirect the money approved by Congress for the Pentagon to help build his promised wall along the US-Mexico border even though lawmakers refused to provide funding.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4, along ideological lines, to allow the funds to be used.
“Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!” President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.
Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2019
The Supreme Court’s order is a significant win for Trump, who is likely to use the construction of a wall as a major talking point on the campaign trail.
The decision overrules a lower court decision that had blocked the transfer of funds while appeals played out.
A panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow the use of the funds earlier in the month, holding that the challengers were likely to prevail in their case because the use of the funds “violates the constitutional requirement that the Executive Branch not spend money absent an appropriation from Congress.”
The order comes after Trump ended a 35-day government shutdown in February when Congress gave him USD1.4 billion in wall funding, far less than he had sought. He subsequently declared a national emergency to get money from other government accounts to construct sections of the wall.
Many lawmakers slammed the decision to move the money away from those national security priorities, threatening to strip the Pentagon of its ability to move money around, something the Defence Department has acknowledged would be detrimental.
(With ANI inputs)