The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that President Donald Trump can start using military funds to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, The Hill reports.
The highest court in the federal judiciary approved the request to temporarily pause lower court rulings blocking the relocation of funds.
As The Hill notes, civil liberties and environmental organizations challenged the use of military funds for the southern border wall. U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam in California sided with the groups — UCLA and Sierra Club — ruling that $2.5 of the $6 billion in military dollars cannot be utilized to build the wall.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that the need for a wall on the southern border outweighs the needs of non-governmental groups.
In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to temporarily halt the injunction, arguing that “the use of those funds violates the constitutional requirement that the Executive Branch not spend money absent an appropriation from Congress.”
But, handing a major legal victory for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that “the Government has made a sufficient showing at this stage that the plaintiffs have no cause of action to obtain review of the Acting Secretary’s compliance with Section 8005.”
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump — an immigration hard-liner — vowed to build a wall on the southern border in order to, he claimed, curb illegal immigration and the influx of illicit substances.
The commander-in-chief has yet to fulfill the campaign promise, but he has gone to great lengths to do so. Earlier this year, Trump declared a national emergency, reallocating funding from the Pentagon. The move followed partisan bickering, and the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 26, 2019
The Democrats have made numerous attempts to halt the reallocation of funding. House Democrats attempted to sue the administration, accusing it of violating the Constitution, but U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden found that they did not have the standing to do so.
Trump has not only campaigned as an immigration hard-liner, he is governing as one. On Friday, Trump and Guatemala interior minister Enrique Degenhart signed an agreement limiting asylum claims in the United States, according to NPR.
— Refinery29 (@Refinery29) July 21, 2019
The president has also vowed to arrest and deport millions of immigrants, recently ordering a sweeping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation. The operation appears to be failing, however, given that only 18 immigrants have been arrested so far, according to The Texas Tribune.
According to The Washington Post, the Obama administration still holds the record for most deportations.