To see how this announcement fits into the timeline of border wall construction, click here.
- A federal judge in California on Friday temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's administration from reprogramming $1 billion of military funds, under a national emergency, for two wall projects at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- U.S. Circuit Judge Hawyard Gilliam ruled that the plaintiffs — the Sierra Club and another advocacy coalition — are entitled to a preliminary injunction, which will prevent the administration from transferring funds intended for military personnel into the bucket of counter-narcotics funds that would ultimately pay for projects in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, and Yuma, Arizona, the Associated Press reported. Gilliam said that the Sierra Club and other plaintiffs would likely be able to prove that the money was not needed for military-related unforeseen circumstances, as a national emergency declaration requires, and that such a transfer of funds would "likely raise serious constitutional questions."
- Gilliam said the plaintiffs likely would be able to show that the Trump administration exceeded its authority by attempting to circumvent Congress and reprogram military funds but fell short of stopping other wall projects or preventing the administration from using other sources to fund wall construction. The case will now move forward to a bench trial, cross-motions for summary judgment or to some other means of resolution.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday, President Trump said his administration would seek "an expedited appeal" of "activist Obama-appointed judge" Gilliam's ruling.
The Pentagon shifted another $1.5 billion for border wall construction earlier this month. The money, according to the Defense Department, came from savings in various programs, including the Afghan Security Forces Fund; an initiative that pays for the destruction of lethal chemical agents and munitions; and the military retirement system. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said this would be the last diversion of funds from the Pentagon to border wall construction.
There is also another critical lawsuit pending against the Trump administration, this one brought by the U.S. House of Representatives. A U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C. heard arguments Thursday and reportedly cast doubts on the ability of Congress to sue in order to resolve political differences with another branch of the government, The Washington Post reported. That judge's decision is still forthcoming.
Meanwhile, a private group reportedly raised $22 million to construct sections of wall on private land near the Texas-New Mexico border, Newsweek reported. We Build The Wall announced it completed a segment, in just three days, between one-half mile and a mile long that connects two existing pieces of fencing. The group is raising money to build more wall sections.