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Supreme Court Says Trump Can Violate Separation of Powers, Change Congressional Appropriation to Build Border Barrier

The Supreme Court took a step toward unraveling Congress’s exclusive power to appropriate funds yesterday in lifting an injunction issued against Donald Trump’s intent to use military funds to build his symbolic and ineffective border fence upgrade.

The order from the Court’s five-man conservative majority does not explicitly say it’s o.k. for the Executive Branch to transfer $2.5 billion that Congress appropriated for military spending to a purpose Congress explicitly declined to fund. It only takes the maddening position that private parties probably don’t have the authority to enforce their own Constitution’s separation of powers.

Really? My government is malfunctioning, the Executive Branch is writing checks without balances, and I can’t go to court as a private citizen to try to make my government follow my Constitution? Just how are we supposed to rectify bad behavior by the Commander in Chief?

The lawsuit is not over; the ACLU and other plaintiffs vow to keep fighting for the rule of law as the case returns to lower courts.

But even if Trump is ultimately victorious in usurping Congress’s power of the purse, we may not see any great erection of slats between the United States and Mexico. The Trump Administration has received legitimate funding for 205 miles of border barrier and, in two and a half years, has only replaced 51 miles of existing fence with more fence without building any new barrier in previously unfenced areas. As in so many other areas, the Trump Administration can’t get jobs done.

And maybe transferring money out of the defense budget isn’t such a bad thing. Just this week, eighteen Marines and a sailor from Camp Pendleton near San Diego were arrested in connection with smuggling humans across the border.


  1. cibvet 2019-07-27 09:17

    Wonder why the Supreme Court didn’t tell trump to get the money from Mexico? I believe that was the con man’s promise.

  2. David Rasmusson 2019-07-27 09:23

    Building that wall is the right thing to do. The plan to overrun our country is not a new one. It has been in the making for at least 20 years or more. It’s a great socialist left-wing liberal progressive unfortunately coming off the bottom side of the Democratic Party which conservative Democrats hate overthrow our country and drag us into socialism. Don’t take my word for it and you can read about it.

  3. jerry 2019-07-27 09:36

    “You don’t need a weatherman to know what way the wind blows”. Bob is correct, the military always know where the good drugs are after tour after tour. They have been taught by the very best smugglers in the world on how to bring the stuff across inspections. 18 jarheads was just the scratch of the involvement. Ain’t just the enlisted men either, rank has even more privileges, the military corruption brings in tons of the good drugs. As far as the women go, trump and the republicans all seem to have dipped their toes (so to speak) into the idea that the younger the better for the young girls to be exploited. The more wars, the more opportunities.

    We might as well waste those billions on a fence as opposed to tossing it away on losing wars. At least with a wall, we are employing the military to bring in drugs under their protection. Nice.

  4. David Newquist 2019-07-27 09:44

    There are numerous studies of the role of rioting in American political history. A Time magazine article titled “When Rioting Is the Answer” begins with the statement, “America was founded on riots.” []

    Those who monitor the conditions that lead to violent rioting find a triggering point when it becomes clear to sentient, informed people are given convincing evidence that government has become impervious to injustice. Last week it provided such evidence in abundance. After Robert Mueller and a Senate report told us that Russian meddling in our election system is extensive and treacherous, Mitch McConnell took it upon himself to block legislation on election security and announced he would not advance any future prospects for it. Then the Supreme Court ruled that citizens have no standing in pursuing restraints on the unbridled denial by Trump of legislative authority. While this is going on, the Trump administration is undercutting the food stamp program, taunting minorities, insulting the press, and generally spreading malicious rule throughout the land.

    At the same time, democracy advocates in Hong Kong and Puerto Rico are taking matters into their own hands. We do not like to think about the chaos and agony of riots, but our government has systematically eliminated the peaceful options. With the help of climate change, the summer promises to be a scorcher.

  5. Porter Lansing 2019-07-27 10:05

    Open The Doors (the wall may be illegally built but the doors we build will never close)

  6. jerry 2019-07-27 10:52

    True that Dr. Newquist, not just Hong Kong and Puerto Rico, but in this place as well.
    “Protesters were dragged away from the city hall while others were corralled into nearby streets.

    Some of the barred prospective candidates were detained earlier as police carried out searches.

    The opposition say their candidates were barred for political reasons.

    Officials disqualified about 30 people, saying they had failed to collect enough valid signatures to stand in the 8 September elections.”

    Pootie has his problems as well. Tyrants be damned world wide.

  7. Debbo 2019-07-27 18:05


  8. Buckobear 2019-07-27 19:14

    When Individual #1 and Moscow Mitch say how much they support the Military …… They’re even now being used as guards in the Concentration Trumps. This is a violation of posse commitatus and illegal. Military commanders who do not order their personnel to stand down from this illegal use of the troops are in violation of the law.
    To use funds appropriated for military use to build a vanity project is immoral, illegal and probably fattening.
    The Supreme court has surrendered its credibility and authority.
    Time to get out in the streets with the pots and pans.

  9. mike from iowa 2019-07-28 08:57

    This is what all the obstruction of Obama’s justices by Moscow Mitch and wingnuts were designed to do. They ran the string out and hit the Russian lottery with Drumpf and hand picked ideologues for lifetime, extreme right wing seats on Circuit and Supreme Courts.

  10. John Dale 2019-07-29 13:31

    The facts are clear. The President has purview over the border. It’s actually his job. It’s a question of how one classifies the situation on the border. As someone who lived 45 minutes from Nogales for 18 years, I’m saying this is a coordinated invasion designed to avoid direct conflict with our military. It’s weakness in the free society model, that unfree society actors can use it against itself.

  11. Debbo 2019-07-29 17:35

    The facts are clear.

    As someone whose 2 nieces live in Houston now and make frequent border visits, they’re saying this is good people trying to save themselves and especially their children from warlike conditions in their home nation.

    Nope, they didn’t live there sometime in the past. They are there Now and their eyesight and other senses are very good.

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