Border wall opponents asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to speed up the case involving their challenge to President Trump’s plans, saying the longer the judges wait, the more wall he’ll be able to build.
The American Civil Liberties Union led the request, which was joined by the Sierra Club and the states of California and New Mexico, who all sued to halt the president’s emergency border wall declaration issued earlier this year.
The ACLU asked for the usual time for filing briefs to be cut by a month, and for the court to hear oral argument on the case in October.
The Trump administration said it didn’t oppose the speedy schedule, increasing the chances that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will comply.
Under the president’s emergency declaration he claimed powers to move money within the Pentagon’s budget, taking it from base construction and other funds and using it for border wall building.
Opponents said he was stepping on Congress’s powers of the purse.
Administration lawyers countered that Congress had passed laws giving the president some flexibility to move money around and since it didn’t specifically forbid him shifting this money, he is free to do it.
A district court sided with the Trump opponents and ordered a halt to construction on some $2.5 billion in money Mr. Trump funneled into wall building.
The 9th Circuit is hearing that appeal, but had ordered that no building be done while the case was pending.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling last week, overturned that blockade and said the spending could proceed as the case is pending.
It was that ruling that spurred the ACLU to ask to speed up the case, arguing that the longer Mr. Trump has, the more wall he can build.
• Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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