Fifth Circuit Rules In Favor Of Use Of Military Funds For Border Wall

In a victory for the Trump Administration, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court which ruled that the Trump Administration could not use $3.6 billion from military construction funds for a construction of new border wall. It was a mixed week for the White House. The ruling comes as another judge ordered the reinstatement of the DACA program.

The decision is a reversal of the December 2019 ruling by U.S. District Judge David Briones. This may prove moot since President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to stop further construction of the wall as soon as he gets into office.

Notably, the Supreme Court is set to review a ruling in the Ninth Circuit that the use of military construction funds was unlawful due to environmental threats.

It is important to note that this was a decision that turned on standing not the merits of the argument that such funds were effectively blocked by Congress.  The divided panel ruled that El Paso County and the nonprofit Border Network for Human Rights did not have the sufficient injury to establish standing to challenge the funding.

As a long-standing “standing dove,” I tend to favor standing in such cases.

Here is the opinion: Fifth Circuit Border Ruling

71 thoughts on “Fifth Circuit Rules In Favor Of Use Of Military Funds For Border Wall”

  1. “Environmental threats” is clearly a leftist code phrase for “it hinders our ability to stuff the ballot boxes.”

  2. Yup, no link. And your opinion of the importance of your made up list compared with border security is only in your imagination.

  3. (music)
    Here comes Santa Claus…here comes Santa Claus.
    Right down Harvard Way!
    Nixon and Trump and all their reindeer…
    Trolling on the hay!

  4. Another expert has come forward to say that Covid is spread by farts.

    Could it be that we have been putting the masks on the wrong end all along?




    At 2:11 pm EST, I posted a few paragraphs from today’s New York Times. The story entitled “Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, And Wisconsin Deliver More Defeats To Trump Legal Effort”. The story describes how the Trump campaign lost court decisions in 5 different states in a 3 hour time span yesterday between late afternoon and early evening. That post was deleted within 40 minutes.

    Supposedly Turley wants to now keep the blog free of actual news stories. Curiously this decision by the professor came about just as Trump was failing in his efforts to overturn the election results. Yet this new blog policy applies to ‘only liberal commenters’. Conservative commenters are still perfectly free to post from news sources. In fact, just below my post was this post by a Gray Anonymous:

    Anonymous says: December 5, 2020 at 12:40 PM

    Democrats lost the 2020 Election in a fierce way. The Dems are hemorrhaging US House seats by the day. Thank you Nancy Pelosi and klan

    Republican Andrew Garbarino wins retiring Rep. Peter King’s seat

    NEW YORK – An open U.S. House seat on Long Island that was held by veteran Republican lawmaker Peter King for almost 30 years will remain in GOP hands.

    This post, by Gray Anonymous seems to be a full copy & paste from Fox 5 news story concerning a New York House race. It remains on the blog. No attempt was made to delete this post. Which illustrate once again that when Professor Turley rails about ‘free speech’ he means ‘free speech for conservatives’.

    1. Thank You for pointing out what Turley has and will do, misinformation. I call it the “Bill Barr Summary” tell only what they want you to know. And leave out the pesky facts.

    2. You can go to Twitter and YouTube….to find the driods you are looking for…..

      1. Oh? “driods”, huh? What, exactly IS a “driod”, in your esteemed opinion, Einstein?

  6. President Trump avoided expensive, Congressionally-approved surges and new wars in Eastern and Western Asia, despite significant pressure to escalate on the Korean peninsula and to start a war with Iran. Trump’s DHS/DOD action on the ground along the border with Mexico was less expensive, less dangerous and less illegal than his compromised NATO denuclearization negotiations with North Korea and Russia. Congress disapproved of increased funding for hard southwestern border security, but approved of continued high spending on the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

    DOD funding serves NATO objectives and is in many ways a US underwriting of European and global security costs that Trump sought to rebalance. In line with the UN Charter, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg and President-elect Biden must make continued progress toward North American, European and global defense budget parity.

    As Trump heads to Georgia for a rally later today, he should be thinking about his major accomplishments: the economy, SCOTUS, restraint of the Executive war power, improved Arab-Israeli relations, and Operation Warp Speed. In one term, he has accomplished considerably more good for the Republican Party than GW Bush accomplished in two terms. Now Trump needs to set more of the stage in Georgia for his upcoming concession speech by shifting the focus from his allegations of an unfair 2020 loss to a winning Republican agenda for electoral fairness and the rule of law moving forward. Trump needs to consolidate and convert his legacy into an agenda that Senate Republicans can successfully build on through 2024, beginning with lame duck COVID-19 Relief.

    1. Jonathan, the only pressure on Trump regarding war with Iran was self induced and he may have avoided pressure on N Korea by letting them increase their missile capability while he dated Little Kim. Obama set up the agreement with NATO countries to increase their defense spending to 2% of GDP: BIden as riving emissary is well versed on the issue.

      “Trump criticized NATO countries for failing to meet a commitment they made in 2014 to increase their defense spending to at least 2 percent of each country’s gross domestic product within a decade.

      The countries memorialized that commitment at the Wales summit in September of that year after then-President Obama urged the allies to increase spending to combat Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine and the terrorist group known as ISIS.

      NATO countries did increase defense spending in 2015 and 2016…”

      Stealing SC seats and making it even less representative of voters is not an accomplishment for the nation, it is one for the minority he represents.

      You didn’t mention the latest on Covid cases – we have 1/3 of the new cases in the world – and deaths.

      By the way, Trump won’t talk about policy – he almost never does. He’ll cry about his alleged unfair treatment and brag about things he didn’t do. You’re trying to give him an assist here.

      1. Joe:

        The pressure on Trump to start a war with Iran was far from self induced. Remember General Wesley Clark’s “seven countries”? Netanyahu’s 2015 address to Congress? Iran’s vow to wipe Israel off the face of the map?

        Denigrating Korean leadership is beneath peace-oriented Americans. Korea is fractured because the US and Soviets badly mishandled the peninsula’s post-WWII reconstruction. Trump significantly advanced the US and inter-Korean peace process.

        East Asian and NATO denuclearization are intertwined regional defense responsibilities. The greater immediate and overall demilitarization onus is on NATO.

        Fair burden sharing is important but two percent of global GDP on military spending is not in compliance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

        Russian aggression? Compare NATO encroachment, spending and combined military strength (including French, UK and US nuclear arsenals) to that of Russia and its regional security partners.

        Who are you backing in Georgia – Warnock or Loeffler?

        1. Jonathan, your response is not responsive – nor does it make specific sense (what about Netanyahu’s speech to Congress?. His own intelligence reports – and ours and the IAEA’s – showed Iran in compliance right up to Trump’s breaking the deal) and similarly I’ll just note yours is irrelevant. Reciting decades of history without how Trump’s international ego tripping relates is nonsense. Sorry to be harsh, but how about specifics if we are to continue this discussion.

          1. PS I don’t live in Georgia, so it doesn’t matter, but do you have to ask? Why would I vote for someone who won’t stand up for her fellow state GOP officials against a deranged selfish a..hole who is engaged in denying reality – a fantasy in which she is a willing participant? Really? Do you have to ask?

            1. I support an orderly transition from President Trump to President Biden to UN Charter Reform.

              I was being ironic because you sound closer to Loeffler than Warnock on US military spending. Perhaps I misunderstood you.

              Do you think the next US step is an escalation of military spending against North Korea, or a US military drawdown, consistent with denuclearization and unification by 2045?

              Should Biden rejoin the JCPOA without a commitment from Iran to the withdrawal of financing for all militants in the Arab-Israeli conflict?

              Biden is in a bind between Michele Flournoy and General Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense.

              I believe we need greater representation of women in the Senate and in Biden’s Cabinet but I am leaning Warnock and Austin. Tonight’s debate between Loeffler and Warnock should be interesting.

              1. Jonathan, I have said nothing about military spending, so not sure what you mean.

                Unfortunately, a return to threats and whatever pressure we can bring on N Korea and China is our only option. Trump’s nonsense got nowhere except giving him a good time while legitimizing Kim’s brutal behavior -some of it against Americans – while he went ahead with missile development.

                Of course we should rejoin the JCPOA without further commitments not relevant to nuclear weapons which is what it successfully addressed. If we could get them, sure. We can’t.

                I don’t know anything about who Biden is considering for Sec of Defense. Competency should be paramount as we can expect the shots (poor choice of words) to be called by the WH.

                Being a woman is not decisive in my opinion either and putting a Ms Richie Rich lacking all principles – see my previous post – in the Senate a non-starter for me.

                1. I do not think US military escalation against North Korea is the correct next step. Systematic US military withdrawal consistent with denuclearization and unification by 2045 is a starting point for the resumption of negotiations. South Korea and other parts of the UN system should address North Korea’s human rights record.

                  On the JCPOA, to Biden’s center right:


                  On the JCPOA, to Biden’s far right:


    2. Don’t expect Trump to ever give a concession speech. He’s going to continue saying that the election was stolen.

        1. I am aware of the negative financial assessments, Fishwings, but in the mind of his base, Team Trump is in this for the good of the country and for the long haul. Whether Trumpism intensifies or whether it yields to a new version of Republican leadership by the end of the 2024 primary season depends in part upon the degree to which solidarity with Trump’s 2020 election fraud allegations shape the future of the party, and in part upon the degree to which individual Republican leaders deviate from these allegations:

          1. Jonathan, how does it matter? Unfortunately almost the entire GOP leadership has their nuts in a drawer in Trump’s office. They have already demonstrated they will agree to deny reality if that’s what he asks and have no ethics or moral authority and no higher calling.than whatever they need to do to avoid being primaried..

            1. The Senate will be sharply divided in the 117th Congress. Romney and 1-2 other Senate defectors from Trump’s 2020 orthodoxy may have enough power to shape an alternative narrative for the party:


              Very few people appeared to be wearing masks at the Trump rally in Georgia last night.

              Then again, Trump won more votes than any other incumbent in US history. McConnell and Thune may be able to hold Senate Republicans firmly in line behind Trump’s systemic voter fraud allegations even if Loeffler and Perdue lose in a January backlash against Trump’s stolen election campaigning.

              1. Jonathan, again, I don;t get your scatter shot response. No offense, but It’s meaningless and valueless. The Senate will have no say in the election outcome unless they cross a bridge no one expects they will. Add in the fact that even the toads – the clear majority – will be very happy to see Trump gone. You really think the eunuchs Cruz and Rubio want him in power still? I expect even the chamelon Graham may resurface as the bridge between the GOP and Biden given his personal connection and personal, non-principled ambition – plus he doesn’t run again for 6 years.

                1. I have a kinder attitude toward Senate Republicans than you do, Joe.

                  A Senate Republican might join House Republican Mo Brooks in challenging the certification of Electoral College votes by Congress on 6 January, but I was not talking about an effort by Senate Republicans to flip the election in Trump’s favor.

                  In the months and years following Biden’s inauguration, Senate Republicans will be forced to choose between competing sets of talking points as they shape the future of the party. If they fall in line behind Trump orthodoxy, then Trump was rightfully acquitted of impeachment; COVID masking was a matter of individual liberty; the 2020 election was stolen; and Trump remained a first-rate President to the end. If they fall in line behind Romney heterodoxy, then Trump was wrongfully acquitted of impeachment; COVID masking was a matter of public safety; the 2020 election was fair; and Trump failed to heal the nation in the final days of his Presidency.

                  Of course it’s not a strict either/or choice between the two narratives, but if a majority of Senate Republicans weigh in for Joe Biden as President-elect following the 14 December Electoral College vote, and Trump continues to allege systemic voter fraud, as now seems likely, elements of the Romney narrative could gain ground in the GOP. This may prove even more true if Loeffler and Perdue lose and Trump still continues to allege election fraud.

                  Good video. Shows the human side of Lindsey Graham.

      1. “Don’t expect Trump to ever give a concession speech.”

        You appear to be correct, Anonymous:

        President Trump projects American Freedom and Peace through Strength at the UN. It remains to be seen whether President-elect Biden signals a substantive net shift toward American Multilateralism and Peace Through Parity.

        “He’s going to continue saying that the election was stolen.”

        Republican voters may or may not continue to support his allegations:

  7. Jonathan: Boy, you are desperate to find a small win in court for Trump. The fifth Circuit’s decision to allow Trump to steal funds from military accounts to pay for his “big beautiful wall” is inconsequential. Biden is not about to waste any more military money on Trump’s boondoggle enterprise.

    The more consequential court decisions this week were in Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia and Michigan–something you obviously want to divert attention from. Like “picadores” in a bull fight Trump got skewered in a series of court rebuffs to his legal challenges to the election. In an ironic twist many of these decisions came from Trump-appointed judges. In Wisconsin Brian Hagedorn, a conservative Justice, said of Trump’s attempt to throw out all the votes: “Judicial acquiescence to such entreaties built on so flimsy a foundation would do indelible damage to every future election”. In Nevada, District Judge James Russell rejected every point raised by Trump’s lawyers explaining the case could not succeed “under any standard of proof”. In Georgia Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, lost their appeal when, had they just waited to appeal, they might have been able to designate experts to inspect voting machines in some Georgia counties. The court deemed their appeal a strategic blunder if they actually wanted to find irregularities in the election. Powell and Wood, along with Rudy Giuliani, are the poster children for incompetent Trump counsel. But Trump had to take the lawyers who were willing to defend him in court. That’s because more respectable and self-respecting law firms refused to take Trump’s bogus claims to any court.

    Despite Trump’s loss of the popular and electoral college vote and the loss of all his legal challenges so far (except one) 200 out of 249 Republicans in Congress still refuse to acknowledge Biden won the election–even after AG Barr has found no evidence to overturn the election results. Talk about being in denial! Maybe that’s also your problem.

  8. Trump is vetoing the military funding Bill unless it includes unrelated things he wants.

    Well, why pass it at all until Trump is out of office? He is just going to redirect funds away from the military toward his pet project.


        Republican Andrew Garbarino wins retiring Rep. Peter King’s seat

        NEW YORK – An open U.S. House seat on Long Island that was held by veteran Republican lawmaker Peter King for almost 30 years will remain in GOP hands.

        Republican state Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino defeated Democrat Jackie Gordon, a former school guidance counselor and retired U.S. Army Reserve officer, in the race for New York’s 2nd congressional district, which covers parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

        With all precincts reporting, Garbarino won 53% of the vote to Gordon’s 46%. More than a month after Election Day, Suffolk County elections officials publicly released absentee ballot tallies, confirming victories by Republicans Garbarino and Rep. Lee Zeldin.

        After serving 14 terms in Congress, King decided to not seek re-election. He campaigned hard for Garbarino, 36, who presented himself as King’s natural successor — someone who appeals to white blue-collar suburban voters, many of whom have voted for Democrats, including Barack Obama for president.

  9. The courts are moot so said Rudy G, “We don’t need courts” and after 46 failed lawsuits to overturn an election, anyone can see why Trump and Rudy feel that way. Trump lost DACA, but Turley being the hack he has become, sadly, will not tell his Trump cult that, so tell them something about the wall, and make them happy. It’s not the first time Turley has used that MO.

    1. Trump election lawsuits thrown out of court now number 44, unless some more bit the dust this morning.

    2. Your post is moot. DACA is moot. Please review the Constitution on immigration. Immigration law is passed by Congress not the executive branch. DACA is irrefutably unconstitutional.

      1. Better read what a federal judge said yesterday, and please, don’t look for the answer on FOX, NewsMax, Alex Jones or RT. Forget it, you won’t look for a answer that you don’t want.

        1. And comrade Roberts said Barry Soetoro’s Obamacare was constitutional. I didn’t say there weren’t corrupt judges. I said the Constitution does not provide Congress any power to tax for individual welfare, specific welfare, charity or redistribution of wealth, merely “…general Welfare.” You can read. Am I right? I’m right aren’t I? And I said the Constitution does not allow the president to set immigration policy through executive orders. The Constitution provides Congress the power to legislate immigration law. DACA is unconstitutional.

          Funfact: The Constitution allows you and all citizens the full freedom to open a charity or simply give all your money away to the needy, the lazy, the unambitious, the dependent, the unmotivated and the parasitic among the population. You just can’t do it with taxes, aka Other People’s Money, which is defined as theft, a crime. K?

        2. And OJ Simpson said that he was innocent.

          Courtrooms are cesspools of perjury and lies.

          Most of the judicial branch should be in prison for corruption-cum-treason.

  10. Turley would like you to believe that Incompetence and corruption are normal so that taking away money from the military that is very much needed for other purposes is a win for Trump.

    1. Convoluted and partisan thinking on your part. How is transferring fundage from one agency to another “corrupt ” when it’s ruled legal and secures our borders ?. But then again you are probably dead set against voter ID.

      1. phergus, if you truly are concerned with constitutional government. you should be opposed to Trump – or any president – taking money appropriated for other purposes to fund a project Congress expressly and specifically would not fund, and contemporary to his action. Some Congressional Republicans objected but in general hid out again on this one.

        Besides, aren’t the Mexicans paying for the wall?

    2. so that taking away money from the military that is very much needed for other purposes is a win for Trump.

      😀 So tell us what military construction projects are so necessary, that by reallocating these funds to the border wall, our country’s national security will suffer?

      Ready. Go.

      1. That question was addressed by Congress Olly and by the Constitution – you claim you took an oath to protect it – they have the power of the purse.

        1. And the President has discretionary power to direct expenditures as confirmed by the 5th circuit.

          1. The 5th Circuit didn’t confirm that. Do you even read the column before commenting?

            It is important to note that this was a decision that turned on standing not the merits of the argument that such funds were effectively blocked by Congress. The divided panel ruled that El Paso County and the nonprofit Border Network for Human Rights did not have the sufficient injury to establish standing to challenge the funding.

        2. Obama sent an airplane full of cash to Iran. Joe Friday. I am storing your comment in my way back file to bring up when you approve of a Biden executive order for spending. I am developing a search program by subject just for you.

          1. Obama also approved killing people via Drones. Such a coward, such a murdered, such a elitist thug


            “Obama’s embrace and vast expansion of drone strikes against militants and terrorists will be an enduring foreign policy legacy. Whereas President George W. Bush authorized approximately 50 drone strikes that killed 296 terrorists and 195 civilians in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, Obama has authorized 506 strikes that have killed 3,040 terrorists and 391 civilians.”

            1. Obama ordered killed America’s enemies, bloody handed terrorist scum.
              Were they friends of yours?

              1. Since conservatives consider Democrats as being America’s enemies and terrorist scums, it follows you embrace their slaughtering by any means necessary. You Marxists are never happy till the last drop of blood spils


                  “[The end justifies the means].”

                  – Sergey Nechayev

                  Sergey Gennadiyevich Nechayev (2 October 1847 – 21 November or 3 December 1882) was a Russian socialist revolutionary and prominent figure of the Russian nihilist movement, known for his single-minded pursuit of revolution by any means necessary, including revolutionary terror.[1][2] He was the author of the radical Catechism of a Revolutionary.

                  Nechayev fled Russia in 1869 after having been involved in the murder of a former comrade. Complicated relationships with fellow revolutionaries caused him to be expelled from the International Workingmen’s Association. Arrested in Switzerland in 1872, he was extradited back to Russia where he received a twenty-year sentence and died in prison.

                  The character Pyotr Verkhovensky in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s anti-nihilistic novel Demons is based on Nechayev. Nechayev is often called a “Bolshevik before the Bolsheviks” and many other Russian revolutionaries were accused of Nechayevshchina by their opponents. The term was associated with authoritarianism, radicalism and sectarianism in the time that preceded the Russian Revolution of 1917.

      2. It’s a dead issue do to Trump losing the election.
        This great vanity project, a testament to Trumpian stupidity,
        stops dead on January 20th.

        1. Ask the rank-and-file of the DHS, DEA, ICE and the Border Patrol if securing the border is a “great vanity project.” Better yet, mitigate your ignorance by studying narco-trafficking, weapons trafficking, human trafficking, and illegal immigration statistics.

          1. Securing the border is a laudatory goal.
            Unfortunately Trump’s Idiot Wall wouldn’t have accomplished that and the money is better spent elsewhere.

        2. It is not stupidity on Trumps part. It is part of his con. Fire up his base with the belief that if they just send enough money he will have a second coming. Of course most of that money is going right to his pocket. Trump has made himself into a political televangelist.

        3. “But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote;…”

      3. Olly, there was a large Air Force base in Florida badly damaged by a recent hurricane. These funds were shifted from the pot designated for those repairs.

        1. These funds were shifted from the pot designated for those repairs.

          😃 I’ll bet you thought that was a serious point. I spent 20 years in the Navy and I’m very familiar with how your so called pots are filled and emptied. Consider this; the Air Force is the branch known for emptying their pots putting in fairways and greens and then filling those pots again for runways and hangers.

          So unless you can prove military construction projects are not proceeding due to the border wall, then it’s just your TDS talking.

    3. Not all Defense funding is discretionary, and there are a number of “accounts” from which funds can be reprogrammed. Define “very much needed for other purposes.”

      1. In the case of Trump, he took money for childcare for military families, road for the NSA, hazardous materials warehouse, cyber-operations, middle school for families at Fort Campbell, and the list goes on but of course, any search engine would tell you that.

        1. and the list goes on but of course, any search engine would tell you that.

          And yet you failed to provide even one. Why is that? Any proof your list didn’t get funded another way, or that these expenditures were proven to be less vital?

          1. Didn’t provide one? Trump’s wall is not as important as any of what I wrote, besides, what are you worried about, the Mexicans are paying for it.

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