In response to the Supreme Court ruling that President Trump can indeed use military funds to build a wall along the southern border of the United States, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the court has allowed the president to “steal” funds in pursuit of a wasteful project.
“Our Founders created a democracy, not a monarchy,” Pelosi’s statement began. “The Constitution forbids the President from spending funds that were not appropriated by the Congress.”
“For months, the President has sought to undermine our military readiness and steal from our men and women in uniform to waste billions on a wasteful, ineffective wall that Congress on a bipartisan basis has repeatedly refused to fund,” Pelosi’s statement continued. “The Supreme Court’s decision tonight to allow President Trump to defy the bipartisan will of the Congress and proceed with contracts to spend billions of dollars on his wall undermines the Constitution and the law.”
Pelosi vowed to “continue to fight to uphold our Constitution and protect our democracy as the case continues on appeal.”
In a 5-4 ruling on Friday – an even split between the conservative and liberal wings – the justices ruled that President Trump could use “$2.5 billion in military funding to build the border wall along the U.S. southern border,” according to The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra.
The justices overturned a lower-court ruling that determined the Trump administration could not violate the “the constitutional requirement that the Executive Branch not spend money absent an appropriation from Congress.”
CNN has more:
The decision overrules a lower court decision that had blocked the transfer of funds while appeals played out. A panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow the use of the funds earlier in the month, holding that the challengers were likely to prevail in their case because the use of the funds “violates the constitutional requirement that the Executive Branch not spend money absent an appropriation from Congress.”
The order comes after Trump ended a 35-day government shutdown in February when Congress gave him $1.4 billion in wall funding, far less than he had sought. He subsequently declared a national emergency to get money from other government accounts to construct sections of the wall.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that the ruling could have a negative impact on border communities.
“Issuance of a stay that would permit Defendants to immediately spend this money is not consistent with Congress’ power over the purse or with the tacit assessment by Congress that the spending would not be in the public interest,” ACLU lawyers told the court.
Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said after the ruling that the organization will continue to fight the administration. “This is not over. We will be asking the federal appeals court to expedite the ongoing appeals proceeding to halt the irreversible and imminent damage from Trump’s border wall,” he said. “Border communities, the environment, and our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied.”
President Trump, of course, immediately celebrated the political victory on Twitter:
“Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!” he tweeted.