The majority said that the plaintiffs, assorted environmental groups, likely had no cause of action to bring the case.
The Trump administration may immediately repurpose about $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds for the construction of a border wall, the Supreme Court ruled Friday afternoon.
The vote was 5-to-4, with the more conservative justices prevailing. The majority said that the plaintiffs, assorted environmental groups, likely had no cause of action to bring the case. In other words, they were not legally entitled to sue.
Justice Breyer said that he would have allowed the government to finalize contracts that depend on the funding but not yet begin construction. Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan indicated that they would have denied the administration any relief.
The ruling effectively reverses the Ninth Circuit, which had blocked the administration from touching the funds on the grounds that Congress has consciously denied President Trump wall money.
While Friday’s ruling isn’t technically on the merits, it is, in practice, a big win for Trump, since there will be no way to “unspend” the money once construction begins.
Upshot: SCOTUS hands Trump a major victory in beginning construction of the border wall. There will soon be facts on the ground that will be difficult to erase.
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) July 26, 2019
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) July 26, 2019
The President will no doubt be enjoying the weekend:
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