US President Donald Trump has achieved another legal success with his controversial wall building plans on the border with Mexico. An appeal court in New Orleans ruled that the government could fund the construction with money from the Department of Defense. It overruled a federal court in Texas that Trump initially banned in December from using Pentagon budget money for the project.
The appellate court referred in its ruling to a similar July Supreme Court ruling. The Supreme Court also cleared the way for the government to use defense budget money to build the wall. A federal judge previously stopped this by an injunction. In total, it is about $ 3.6 billion that Trump had used from the Pentagon budget to build the wall.
The White House called the decision of the Court of Appeal a "victory for the rule of law". With the release of the money, "one of the largest sections of the much-needed wall on the southern border can now be built," Trump wrote on Twitter. However, the legal dispute over Trump's controversial border project has not yet ended with the judgment: Various legal disputes regarding the construction of the wall are still pending in several courts.
With the money from the Ministry of Defense, barriers will initially be built along the border with Mexico over a length of 800 kilometers. Overall, the US-Mexico border measures 3,200 kilometers in length, large parts of which are already sealed off by fences. Replacing it with a wall was one of Trump's key campaign promises and is considered one of his most important projects.
Congress had previously denied Trump the funds for building the wall in every household, which is why he had a state of emergency declared almost a year ago to be able to draw on funds from existing budget items. He justified this with an alleged "invasion" of migrants, criminal gangs and drug smuggling.