Even as Donald Trump continues to violate too many federal laws to count, and continues to defy every attempt at constitutional oversight in the process, one of the key cogs in curtailing his authoritarian overreach has been the court system. To that end, the U.S. Court of Appeals just told Trump to go stick it where the sun don’t shine.
After Donald Trump couldn’t get Congress to fund his border wall fantasy, he decided to simply begin redirecting federal funds from other projects. The trouble: that’s illegal unless Congress signs off on it. Accordingly, Congress dragged Trump into court over the matter. The lower court has already blocked Trump’s move. Now the appeals court is doing the same.
The appeals court in San Francisco has voted to stop Trump from misappropriating $2.5 billion dollars in federal funding, according to the New York Times. This is crucial, because Trump isn’t finding support for these kinds of moves at any Judicial Branch level – which means that the odds are against Trump once this inevitably reaches the Supreme Court. There are five conservative Justices on the Supreme Court, but they’ve voted against Trump’s unconstitutional stunts as often as they’ve voted with Trump.
But the most important factor here may be time. Donald Trump is furiously trying to figure out how to get some fraction of his wall build ahead of the 2020 election, so he can fire up his base by telling them that he came through on his signature campaign promise. Now that Trump has been blocked from doing so yet again, it means he’ll have to go another round in court – which takes time – and will diminish the odds of the wall ever happening.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report