WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court declined by a 5-4 vote Friday to halt the Trump administration’s construction of portions of the border wall with Mexico following a recent lower court ruling that the administration improperly diverted money to the project.
The court’s four liberal justices dissented, saying they would have prohibited construction while a court challenge continues, after a federal appeals court ruled in June that the administration had illegally sidestepped Congress in transferring the Defense Department funds.
“The Court’s decision to let construction continue nevertheless I fear, may operate, in effect, as a final judgment,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in a brief dissent for the four liberals.
Friday’s order means the court is not likely even to consider the substance of the issue until after the November election, while work on the wall continues.
Last summer, at an earlier stage in the case, the justices also split 5-4 along ideological lines to allow the administration to begin construction using $2.5 billion in Defense Department funds.
That allowed President Donald Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term. The administration wanted to use the money to replace a total of 129 miles (208 kilometers) of rundown or outdated fencing in New Mexico, Arizona and California. As of mid-July, 92 miles (1148... (Read more)
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