A federal judge on Friday (June 28) expanded a ban on construction of President Trump’s signature southern border wall that would have used money secured under his declaration of a national emergency, but that Congress never approved for the purpose.
U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr., of Oakland, Calif., blocked construction on four of the administration’s highest-priority projects on the U.S.-Mexico border spanning 79 miles near El Centro, Calif., and Tucson. The Pentagon had moved to fund the projects using $1. 5 billion transferred into a Defense Department counterdrug program from military pay and training accounts.
The administration quickly appealed Haywood Gilliam’s May order after the president took to Twitter to call it “a ruling against Border Security” by “another activist Obama appointed judge.” Friday’s ruling came hours after Justice Department lawyers told the judge that unless he intervened, the Department of Homeland Security planned to move ahead with construction on the four newer projects “as early as the morning of July 1.”