SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court decided 2-1 Friday that the Trump administration violated the law when it used military funds to build a wall on the Mexican border.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the power of the purse belongs to Congress, and the administration lacked constitutional authority to transfer the military money. Two Democratic appointees were in the majority. An appointee of President Donald Trump dissented.
"The President has long supported the construction of a border wall on the southern border between the United States and Mexico," Chief 9th Circuit Judge Sidney R. Thomas, a Clinton appointee, wrote for the court in one of two decisions on the issue.
"Since the President took office in 2017, however, Congress has repeatedly declined to provide the amount of funding requested by the President."
The Supreme Court last year blocked an injunction against the use of military funding for the wall from going forward. Friday's decision reinstated it.
Brian Segee, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the Supreme Court's early refusal to allow the injunction to remain was "an ominous signal." The center has a separate challenge pending against the administration's use of military funds for the project.
This article was written by Maura Dolan, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.