By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via PinalCentral
A federal appeals court has ruled the Trump administration illegally diverted $2.5 billion in military construction funds to finance the border wall through Arizona, California and New Mexico.
In a pair of 2-1 decisions Friday, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the president “lacked independent constitutional authority” to authorize the transfer of the dollars.
“These funds were appropriated for other purposes, and the transfer amounted to drawing funds from the Treasury without authorization by statute and thus violating the Appropriations Clause,” Chief Judge Sidney Thomas wrote for himself and Judge Kim Wardlaw.
Thomas acknowledged that Congress did give the Department of Defense the authority to transfer money to respond to an “unforeseen military requirement.” But he said that was not the situation here.