9th Circuit Appeals Court blocks further border wall construction in 2-1 decision

In a 2-1 decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled President Trump’s use of emergency powers to allocate millions to the border wall was illegal.

The decision is a victory for advocacy groups the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, upholding a 2019 district court judgement in their favor against Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf as well as “all persons acting under their direction…from using military construction funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall.”

Gloria Smith, attorney at the Sierra Club celebrated the decision and called it a “monumental for border communities, wildlife and lands.”

In a statement, Smith said “We should be protecting communities, our democracy, and the environment, not tearing these things apart as Trump was doing.”

“We rise with border communities to stop this administration from further inflicting its relentless agenda and will continue fighting illegal wall construction at all levels,” she added.

Dror Ladin, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project said “The courts have once again confirmed what everyone knows: Trump’s fake ‘national emergency’ was just another pretext for targeting immigrants and border communities.”

“It’s past time for Trump to finally give up on trying to raid the federal budget for his wasteful and illegal project,” Ladin added.