Nancy Pelosi just suffered a major defeat in her war with President Trump. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, it seems Pelosi and Trump are in a war of attrition on all of them combined. At the same time.
When Trump made a deal for some of his wall earlier to end the government shutdown, many thought that was it and Trump would have to wait until the next year.
But Trump is a fighter who uses the weapons he has at hand, in this case, government bureaucracy, to never give up.
He simply moved money that was sitting in a fund Congress gives to presidents in case of certain emergencies for the wall effort.
Pelosi sued and she just got the bad news as a federal judge tossed her lawsuit. From Fox News:
Washington, D.C., district court Judge Trevor McFadden threw out House Democrats’ lawsuit seeking an injunction against President Trump’s emergency border wall funding reallocation, saying that the matter is fundamentally a political dispute and that the politicians lack standing to make the case.
Trump had declared a national emergency this past February over the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, following Congress’ failure to fund his border wall legislatively. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats then filed suit in April, charging that Trump was “stealing from appropriated funds” by moving $6.7 billion toward border wall construction.
Democrats argued that the White House had “flouted the fundamental separation-of-powers principles and usurped for itself legislative power specifically vested by the Constitution in Congress.” But, in his ruling, McFadden, a Trump appointee, suggested Democrats were trying to usurp the political process.
“This case presents a close question about the appropriate role of the Judiciary in resolving disputes between the other two branches of the Federal Government. To be clear, the court does not imply that Congress may never sue the Executive to protect its powers,” McFadden wrote in his opinion. “The Court declines to take sides in this fight between the House and the President.”
McFadden emphasized that under the so-called “political question doctrine” and existing Supreme Court precedent, courts generally stay out of politically sensitive matters best left to voters. And, he noted that House Democrats had the burden of demonstrating that they had standing — a difficult hurdle for any plaintiff to clear, which involves showing a particularized injury that the court can address.
Especially in the context of political questions involving legislators, McFadden asserted, the availability of other “institutional remedies” — actions prescribed by the constitution besides litigation — counseled against finding that Democrats had standing.
For example, McFadden noted Democrats had various other methods with which to pursue their objectives legislatively. The Trump administration argued in its brief that when Congress was concerned about “unauthorized Executive Branch spending in the aftermath of World War I, it responded not by threatening litigation, but by creating the General Accounting Office” — an argument the judge cited appprovingly in his opinion.
“Congress has several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power,” McFadden wrote. “These tools show that this lawsuit is not a last resort for the House. And this fact is also exemplified by the many other cases across the country challenging the administration’s planned construction of the border wall.”
McFadden quoted former Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion in the seminal 1803 case Marbury v. Madison, in which Marshall wrote, the “province of the [C[ourt is, solely, to decide on the rights of individuals, not to enquire how the executive, or executive officers, perform duties in which they have a discretion.”
From CNN: A federal judge in Washington on Monday denied a request by House Democrats to block President Donald Trump from transferring funds from appropriated accounts to construct his wall.
Judge Trevor McFadden said the House lacks standing to bring the challenge and also he does not believe the court should step into the fight between the President and Congress.
“The Court declines to take sides in this fight between the House and the President,” McFadden wrote.
“This case presents a close question about the appropriate role of the Judiciary in resolving disputes between the other two branches of the Federal Government. To be clear, the court does not imply that Congress may never sue the Executive to protect its powers,” he added.
McFadden also said lawmakers have more options than the court system to fight the President’s proposals.
“Congress has several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power,” he wrote. “These tools show that this lawsuit is not a last resort for the House. And this fact is also exemplified by the many other cases across the country challenging the administration’s planned construction of the border wall.”
McFadden, a Trump appointee, held a nearly three-hour hearing on the matter last month.
From CNN: During the roughly three-hour hearing, Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, appeared skeptical about involving the judiciary in a conflict between the Democratic-led House and the administration regarding Trump’s decision to transfer funds from appropriated accounts to construct his wall.
“The President in this instance is going to the very heart of our checks and balances,” Douglas Letter, representing the House, argued before the judge in the District Court for the District of Columbia.
McFadden, however, cited the political tools at the disposal of the legislative branch.
“Has your client utilized all the tools at its disposal before rushing to court?” he asked. To which, Letter responded that the House did what it’s supposed to do in appropriating funds.
Lawyers for the Trump administration warned of opening up the opportunity for branches to sue each other. “For over 200 years, Congress and the executive branch resolved political disputes through political means,” said James Burnham, a government lawyer.
Like the Justice Department has said in court filings, Burnham argued that the House lacks standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place, has no cause of action against the administration and is unlikely to prevail on the merits.