3-Judge Panel Ruins Trump’s Weekend With Ruling For Democrats

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This week, a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of House Democrats, concluding that their lawsuit against the Trump administration over the White House’s border wall funding efforts should be revived. The House Democrats’ lawsuit alleges, quite simply, that the Trump administration violated Constitutional standards via their redirection of large quantities of money towards the construction and maintenance of physical barriers on the southern U.S. border, which went against Congress’s own demands. After the new D.C. Circuit ruling, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) issued a public callout of the president.

On Twitter, he said:

‘Mexico was never going to pay for Trump’s wall. And neither should taxpayers. Today, the Court affirmed what we already knew: that Congress has the power of the purse, not Trump. Let Trump pay for his own broken promises, and bankrupt policy. The Constitution holds.’

It’s worth noting — the vast majority of the Trump administration’s work at the southern border has been the replacement of physical barriers that were already present. In other words, it’s dubious at best for Trump to say that he “built the wall.” He really didn’t — some of what he’s claimed as “the wall!” is just replacement material for old barriers. Still, the Trump administration has directly undercut Congressional authority and the separation of powers via siphoning taxpayer money for their border wall efforts.

In the D.C. Circuit Court panel’s ruling — which was apparently the unanimous opinion of all three judges on the panel — Senior Judge David Sentelle wrote:

‘[The] House is individually and distinctly injured because the executive branch has allegedly cut the House out of its constitutionally indispensable legislative role. More specifically, by spending funds that the House refused to allow, the executive branch has defied an express constitutional prohibition that protects each congressional chamber’s unilateral authority to prevent expenditures.’

This violation of basic legal norms has consequences, Sentelle noted. He added that ruling against the House’s claims “would fundamentally alter the separation of powers by allowing the executive branch to spend any funds the Senate is on board with, even if the House withheld its authorizations.”

Check out Twitter’s response to Schiff below:

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