Bad news for President Donald Trump and his desire to use $3.6 billion in military funding for the border wall construction, as a federal judge appointed by Bill Clinton has blocked the administration from doing so.
It was District Court Judge David Briones who "ruled in an El Paso court Tuesday that the money cannot be diverted to build 175 miles of steel barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border." The Judge previously said using the military funds was already illegal, but allowed Trump's administration to voice their side of the story and come up with a remedy. Briones ultimately blocked Trump's administration from the funding.
As stated on the Washington Times:
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“Because defendants’ actions are unlawful and the people’s representatives — Congress — declined to augment the border wall budget as defendants attempt, the public interest would be served by halting them,” the judge wrote.
Trump's administration was also sued by the El Paso County and Border Network for Human Rights who made a huge claim that Trump was going over his own authority when he said there was a national emergency declaration in hopes he would get more funding a bit faster.
As stated on Fox News:
Congress had already given him $1.375 billion for wall construction.
Briones ruled in October to temporarily halt the president's plan to use the Pentagon funds. His Tuesday ruling only applies to the $3.6 billion, not other money available to the administration, including funds from counter-drug operations.
In September, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed off on spending the $3.6 billion, provoking outcry from Democrats and immigration-rights advocates.
Kristy Parker, an attorney with the nonprofit group Protect Democracy who represented the plaintiffs, described Trump's declaration as a power grab.
But $1.375 billion isn't enough to complete the entire project and Trump wanted more in hopes to get the job done the way he sees fit.
Trump's administration can file an appeal and continue to fight for more funding for the border wall.
Information about Federal Judge Briones is as follows:
Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Nominated by William J. Clinton on August 25, 1994, to a seat vacated by Lucius Desha Bunton. Confirmed by the Senate on October 7, 1994, and received commission on October 11, 1994. Assumed senior status on February 26, 2009.