A federal appeals court on Friday determined that the Trump administration does not have the authority to use military funds to pay for the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decreed that diverting $2.5 billion Congress had allotted to the military violated the Constitution.
"The Executive Branch lacked independent constitutional authority to authorize the transfer of funds," wrote Chief Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas. "The panel noted that 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."
Last summer, the Supreme Court permitted the Trump administration to use the $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense to construct portions of the wall in an effort to protect national security.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the funds to be used while the court appeals proceeded.