A federal judge issued a ruling on Friday blocking the Trump administration from using billions of dollars in military funds to construct a wall on the United States’s southern border.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam issued the permanent injunction in a California federal court, after initially ruling last month to temporarily halt the administration’s use of military funds for the border wall.
President Trump declared a national emergency earlier this year in order to divert roughly $6 billion in Defense Department funds toward border wall construction. Friday’s ruling blocks the administration from using $2.5 billion in military funds for a border wall.
The injunction actually stops border wall construction at different sites in New Mexico, California, Arizona and Texas, expanding Gilliam’s previous ruling.
Gilliam is an Obama appointee, he made the ruling on the military funds in a lawsuit brought forward by several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Sierra Club, challenging the diversion of the military funds under the scope of the national emergency order.
The White House administration argued that the use of the military funds was lawful under the scope of the national emergency, as the need for the funding was “unforeseen.” And the lawyers claimed that if they are unable to award the federal dollars to contractors by the end of the fiscal year, they may lose the funding.
Gilliam wrote in his Friday ruling that the administration lawyers “present no new evidence or argument for why the court should depart from its prior decision, and it will not.”
“Because no new factual or legal arguments persuade the court that its analysis in the preliminary injunction order was wrong, [the groups’] likelihood of success on the merits has ripened into actual success,” the ruling reads.
Gilliam wrote that while he does not “minimize” the administration’s interest in border security, he determined that “the balance of hardships and public interest favors” is in favor of the groups opposing the wall.