A Border Patrol unit drives by the construction site of a new section of the border wall between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico on August 17, 2020./ Getty Images
By Richard Wolf | USA TODAY
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide if the Trump administration must stop building portions of the border wall with Mexico.
But the case is unlikely to be heard before Jan. 20 next year, and if President Donald Trump loses re-election next month, a Democratic administration headed by former vice president Joe Biden could stop construction on its own.
The high court has twice allowed the wall project to continue despite federal court rulings that the administration lacked authority to spend the money. In July, when the justices last acted by a 5-4 vote, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer complained in dissent that it amounted to a final victory during Trump’s first term.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in June that the administration went around Congress by transferring $2.5 billion in military salary and pension funds to the border wall project after Congress refused.