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Federal Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California on Friday night blocked President Donald Trump’s move to tap the Department of Defense’s budget to build the border wall along the southern border, CNN reported. According to the Obama appointee, Trump is unable to make the move without Congressional approval.
“The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” Gilliam wrote in his 56-page opinion.
“Congress’s “absolute” control over federal expenditures—even when that control may frustrate the desires of the Executive Branch regarding initiatives it views as important—is not a bug in our constitutional system. It is a feature of that system, and an essential one,” he said.
The lawsuit was brought about by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition.
President Trump took to Twitter to slam the judge, saying his administration plans to appeal the decision.
The decision comes after Trump declared a national emergency in February. The goal was to obtain funding for a border wall since Congress refused to provide the president and his team with adequate funding.