The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the Trump administration can start using military funds to construct a wall on the southern border, handing the president a major legal victory.
The court’s four liberal justices each partially dissented on the ruling.
The administration had asked the justices earlier this month to temporarily pause lower court rulings that blocked officials from tapping some of the diverted Pentagon dollars for border wall construction.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that the needs of the administration outweighed those of groups like the ACLU and Sierra Club who are challenging the use of the Defense Department funds for the wall. And he said that if the funds remain frozen until the end of the fiscal year, authorities may not be able to use them at all.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam in California, an Obama appointee, issued a permanent injunction blocking officials from utilizing $2.5 billion of the roughly $6 billion in diverted military dollars, siding with the groups’ arguments that building the wall would cause “irreparable harm” to their interests at the border.