64°F
weather icon Clear

Judge bars Trump from using $2.5B to build border wall

OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge on Friday prohibited President Donald Trump from tapping $2.5 billion in military funding to build high-priority segments of his prized border wall in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. in Oakland acted in two lawsuits filed by California and by activists who contended that the money transfer was unlawful and that building the wall would pose environmental threats.

“All President Trump has succeeded in building is a constitutional crisis, threatening immediate harm to our state,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led a 20-state coalition of attorneys general in one lawsuit.

Speaking Saturday at a press conference marking the end of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Trump called the decision “a disgrace.”

“So we’re immediately appealing it and we think we’ll win the appeal,” he went on to say. “There was no reason that that should have happened. And a lot of wall is being built.”

The decisions are in line with Gilliam’s ruling last month that blocked work from beginning on two of the highest-priority projects — one spanning 46 miles (74 kilometers) in New Mexico and another covering 5 miles (8 kilometers) in Yuma, Arizona.

But the fight is far from over. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to take up the same issue of using military money next week.

At issue is President Donald Trump’s February declaration of a national emergency so that he could divert $6.7 billion from military and other sources to begin construction of the wall, which could have begun as early as Monday.

Trump declared the emergency after losing a fight with the Democratic-led House that led to a 35-day government shutdown.

The president identified $3.6 billion from military construction funds, $2.5 billion from Defense Department counterdrug activities and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.

The judge Friday didn’t rule on funding from the military construction and Treasury budgets.

In the second suit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, the judge determined that the use of the $2.5 billion for two sectors of the wall was unlawful, although he rejected environmental arguments that wall construction would threaten species such as bighorn sheep.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Yvanna Cancela Speaks on Supporting Biden - Video
The RJ Politics podcast crew sits down with Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela to discuss why she is supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
RJ Politics Podcast with Deval Patrick - VIDEO
2020 Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick joins hosts Rory Appleton and Steve Sebelius on the RJ Politics Podcast.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg Speaks At Black Empowerment Event - Video
Pete Buttigieg speaks at a black empowerment event to talk about his Douglass plan.
Joe Biden at the national hospitality workers union.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the national hospitality workers union during UNITE HERE's town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas. @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren at Culinary Union
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Culinary Union town hall in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, 2019.
Secretary of Education visits Henderson school
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited students at Pinecrest Academy in Henderson to talk about college planning on Dec. 4, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
THE LATEST
Sisolak’s top lawyer steps down

J. Brin Gibson, general counsel to Gov. Steve Sisolak, is stepping down to a take a job in the private sector after serving for a year in the governor’s office.

Trump administration OKs new water rule

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a new rule on navigable waters that farmers and real estate developers found burdensome, but environmental groups supported.

US proposes visa rules aimed to restrict ‘birth tourism’

The Trump administration on Thursday published new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have U.S. citizenship.