Judge shoots down House attempt to block Trump’s border wall emergency

Construction workers build a secondary border wall with the prototype models in back, on February 22, 2019 in Otay Mesa, California. | Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday rejected an attempt by the Democrat-led House to bar President Donald Trump from spending $6.1 billion in unappropriated funds to build a border wall.

In a 24-page opinion, D.C.-based District Court Judge Trevor McFadden said that the court lacked authority to resolve a funding dispute between the executive and legislative branches.

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“While the Constitution bestows upon members of the House many powers, it does not grant them standing to hale the executive branch into court claiming a dilution of Congress’s legislative authority,” McFadden wrote.

The ruling deals a momentary victory to Trump. A separate Oakland-based federal judge in late May issued a preliminary injunction that blocked the transfer of roughly $1 billion in Defense Department counter-drug funding to cover expansions and enhancement of border barriers.

Trump declared a national emergency in February as part of a strategy to access $6.7 billion to build a border wall after Congress turned down a similar request. Democrats blasted the move, and House leaders challenged it in federal court — one of several lawsuits targeting the emergency.

The House argued that the White House violated the Constitution and federal regulatory law when it sought to transfer roughly $6.1 billion based on authority outlined in two federal statutes related to counter-drug and military construction funds.