Author: Travis Pittman (TEGNA)
A federal appeals court has ruled the Trump administration can divert $3.6 billion in military funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Multiple reports indicate the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to temporarily stay a lower court ruling out of Texas.
Reuters reports the stay is pending an appeal by the Trump administration of the ruling by a federal judge that prevented the transfer of funds.
El Paso County, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights have been challenging the funds transfer.
The panel noted that the U.S. Supreme Court had issued a stay in a similar case from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was the signature promise of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Following last year’s government shutdown, Trump declared immigration a national emergency and used that as justification for siphoning funds to the wall. Critics have said the move circumvented the “power of the purse” that belongs to Congress.