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March 1
1990 - President George H.W. Bush and Sheriff Sherman Block dedicate new North County Correctional Facility in Castaic [story]
ribbon cutting


| Friday, Jun 26, 2020
border wall - Mexico–United States barrier at the border of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, USA. The crosses represent migrants who died in the crossing attempt. Some identified, some not. Surveillance tower in the background.| Photo: (c) Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0.
Mexico–United States barrier at the border of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, USA. The crosses represent migrants who died in the crossing attempt. Some identified, some not. Surveillance tower in the background.| Photo: (c) Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0.

 

President Donald Trump illegally circumvented Congress’ “power of the purse” by transferring $2.5 billion in Department of Defense funds to construct portions of the border wall in California, Arizona and New Mexico, the Ninth Circuit found Friday in a pair of rulings.

In a 102-page ruling (see below), Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas, a Bill Clinton appointee, found Trump violated the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution by illegally authorizing the transfer of Pentagon funds to cover border wall construction expenses along the southwest U.S.-Mexico border.

“The panel concluded that the district court correctly determined that the border wall was not an unforeseen military requirement, and that funding for the wall had been denied by Congress. Absent such statutory authority, the Executive Branch lacked independent constitutional authority to transfer the funds at issue here,” Thomas wrote, ruling in favor of California, New Mexico and a host of other states.

Applauding the ruling, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “the court reminded the president — once again — that no one is above the law.”

“While the Trump Administration steals public funds to build an unauthorized wall at the southern border, families across the country are struggling to pay their bills. They deserve to know that their hard-earned dollars are going where the law intended — to benefit their families and their communities,” Becerra said in a statement.

In a second 82-page order (see below below) in a similar lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, Thomas reiterated Congress, not the president, has the exclusive power to determine how federal funds are allocated.

“The Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress. The panel held that the transfer of funds violated the Appropriations Clause, and, therefore, was unlawful,” Thomas wrote.

ACLU National Security Project senior attorney Dror Ladin called the ruling “a win for the rule of law, the environment, and border communities.”

“President Trump’s xenophobic wall is already leveling protected lands, desecrating cultural sites, and destroying wildlife. There’s no undoing the damage that’s been done, but we will be back before the Supreme Court to finally put a stop to this destructive wall,” Ladin said in a statement.

This is a developing story.

— By Bianca Bruno

 

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SCV NewsBreak
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