House appeals judge’s decision upholding Trump’s border wall emergency

By Ted Hesson

The House of Representatives today appealed a federal judge’s decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s ability to funnel billions of non-congressionally approved dollars toward border wall construction.

The move deepens the legal fight between the Democrat-led House and Trump over his February declaration of a national emergency as part of a plan to access $6.7 billion in funds to build a wall. Trump announced the emergency after Congress refused to provide a similar amount for the wall.

The appeal will take the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Last week, D.C.-based District Court Judge Trevor McFadden — a Trump appointee — shot down the House’s challenge to Trump’s attempt to move the money.

The House had argued Trump overstepped his executive authority when he used emergency powers and provisions in counter-drug and military construction statutes to redirect $6.1 billion toward a wall. House lawmakers did not contest the transfer of $600 million from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund, however.

Trump’s use of emergency powers faces litigation in several other federal courts.

An Oakland-based federal judge in late May issued a preliminary injunction that blocked the transfer of roughly $1 billion in Defense Department counter-drug funding for wall construction.