Obama-appointed judge blocks Trump from using defense funds for border wall

by WorldTribune Staff, June 30, 2019

A federal judge on June 28 issued a permanent injunction blocking the Trump administration from using Defense Department funds to build the border wall.

Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, barred the Trump administration from reprogramming funds from Sections 8005 and 9002 of the National Defense Authorization Act to build the wall and provide security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The decision came in a lawsuit filed by the leftist Sierra Club. / YouTube

Gilliam’s decision came in a lawsuit filed by the left-wing Sierra Club, which claimed reprogramming the funds violates federal law.

The Department of Justice said it would immediately appeal Gilliam’s decision. The Northern District is considered one of the most liberal federal trial courts in the nation.

The DOJ argued that the Sierra Club falls “outside the zone of interests of § 8005 and thus cannot sue to enforce it,” and besides that, that the Defense Department “has satisfied the requirements set forth in § 8005.”

Gilliam rejected those arguments and held that § 8005 funds could be used only for “unforeseen military requirements” and that constructing the border wall did not qualify.

The Trump administration did get a win in the case as Gilliam continued to reject Sierra Club’s claims under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“The left has had high hopes that it could block the wall by arguing that building the wall is illegal because the federal government has not gone through NEPA’s cumbersome and time-consuming requirements, but even Gilliam acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had authority to waive those requirements, which the department did,” Breitbart News noted in a June 29 report.

Gilliam certified his partial summary judgment decision for immediate appeal. As a consequence, the Justice Department will now take the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The judge also issued a decision granting partial summary judgment and a permanent injunction in a parallel case brought by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has become prolific in litigating against the president. Gilliam’s order in that case addresses the same issues, and is essentially identical to the order in Sierra Club’s case.

Meanwhile, The New York Times an op-ed on June 29 which calls for the public shaming of U.S. government employees who work in migrant detention facilities.

In the article, Kate Cronin-Furman, an assistant professor at University College London, proposes a public shaming campaign — which she insists is not the same as “doxxing” — in hopes of forcing border protection agents to quit their jobs. She also said her proposal would deter others from taking jobs as border agents.

“Immigration lawyers have agent names; journalists reporting at the border have names, photos and even videos. These agents’ actions should be publicized, particularly in their home communities.”

Cronin-Furman continued: “The knowledge, for instance, that when you go to church on Sunday, your entire congregation will have seen you on TV ripping a child out of her father’s arms is a serious social cost to bear. It’s about exposure of their participation in atrocities to audiences whose opinion they care about.”

As many others on the Left have done, Cronin-Furman also drew comparisons between the border crisis and the Holocaust.

“In Denmark during World War II, for instance, strong social pressure, including from the churches, contributed to the refusal of the country to comply with Nazi orders to deport its Jewish citizens,” Cronin-Furman writes.

“Thinking of what’s happening in this way gives us a repertoire of tools with which to fight the abuses, beyond the usual exhortations to call our representatives and donate to border charities.”

Democratic lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez have called the border facilities “concentration camps.”

During the June 27 Democratic presidential debate, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet compared his Polish mother’s experience in World War II to the border crisis.

“When I see these kids at the border, I see my mom because I know she sees herself,” Bennet said. “She was separated from her parents for years during the Holocaust in Poland.”

Bennet’s brother is James Bennet, the NY Times’ editorial page editor.

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