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Affirming Trump 'Is Not a King,' Federal Court Rules President Acted Unlawfully by Declaring Emergency to Obtain Wall Funding

"Trump circumvented Congress in an authoritarian power grab and stole military money to pay for his ridiculous vanity wall," said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.).  "I welcome this ruling."

U.S. Border Patrol Agents at Border Field State Park in Imperial Beach watch over personnel that are reinforcing the border wall with concertina wire. (Photo: Mani Albrecht/U.S. Border Patrol/Flickr)

U.S. Border Patrol Agents at Border Field State Park in Imperial Beach watch over personnel that are reinforcing the border wall with concertina wire. (Photo: Mani Albrecht/U.S. Border Patrol/Flickr)

A federal judge in Texas Friday afternoon ruled that President Donald Trump acted beyond his legal authority earlier this year when he declared a "national emergency" in order to redirect U.S. military funds in order to pay for sections of the infamous "wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to The Hill:

Judge David Briones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas said in his opinion that the plan would be blocked after getting input from both sides in a lawsuit for the scope of an injunction.  

The lawsuit was brought by El Paso County in Texas and a group called the Border Network for Human Rights.  

Briones, who was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton, ruled that Trump overstepped his authority to divert more funds to border security than what was appropriated by Congress.

Kristy Parker, an attorney with the legal nonprofit Protect Democracy who represented the plaintiffs, said the Briones ruling "vindicates the Founders' wisdom and confirms that the president is not a king, and that he cannot override Congress's power to decide how to appropriate funds."

Democratic lawmakers opposed to Trump's border wall policy celebrated the ruling.

"Trump circumvented Congress in an authoritarian power grab and stole military money to pay for his ridiculous vanity wall," tweeted Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) in response to the news.  "I welcome this ruling and say once again: Not one penny will go to Trump's racist wall."

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"We have not and will not fund your racist wall," declared Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Briones ruling in Texas came right on the heels of a separate ruling by a U.S. District Court judge in New York City which put a stay on the Trump administration's effort to prevent low-income people from emigrating to the United States. As Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) pointed out:

"It is not a good day in the legal world for this unlawful Administration," said Velazquez.

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