US President Donald Trump ended a losing streak in court battles with the House when a federal judge rejected the Democrat-controlled chamber’s lawsuit seeking to stop him from using emergency powers to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
Colombia district Judge Trevor N. McFadden on Monday rejected the lawsuit against the financing of the border wall with funds previously approved by Congress for other purposes, the New York Times reported.
McFadden decided that a single chamber of the legislature has no jurisdiction to sue the government for allegedly exceeding its powers.
The House of Representatives, headed by Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi, filed the lawsuit on its own as the Senate has a Republican majority.
While the Constitution bestows upon Members of the House many powers, it does not grant them standing to drag the Executive Branch into court claiming a dilution of Congress’s legislative authority, MacFadden, a President Donald Trump appointee, ruled.
The lawsuit’s intention was to block the transfer of $1 billion from Pentagon funds for the construction of the southwestern border wall, as ordered by Trump.
McFadden’s decision comes after a federal judge in California in late May did block the diversion of funds from both the Pentagon and the Treasury Department to the construction of the wall.
Judge Haywood Gilliam of the US District Court for the Northern District of California had ruled in favor of a coalition of 20 states — mostly Democrat governed — one environmental and a civil rights organization which had sued the federal government.
The funds addressed in both lawsuits are those that Trump approved to divert after decreeing a national emergency on the southern border in February.
The Congress approved $1.37 billion for the wall in its budgets, a figure far less than the $5.7 that Trump had requested, which led him to declare a national emergency with the aim of securing those funds without the approval of the legislature.
With the national emergency declared, the government re-allocated an additional $6.6 billion from the Pentagon and the Treasury Department to fund the construction of some 376 km of a border wall.