Trump’s signature issue in 2016 was that he would build “a big, beautiful wall” across the 2,000 miles between the U.S. and Mexico. And Mexico would pay for it. Mexico did not pay for it, nor would Congress, so Trump declared a national emergency and took money from the military to build the wall. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Trump cannot use military funds for this purpose and stopped construction.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that President Donald Trump may not proceed with a plan to allocate $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The suit was brought by the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

The 2-1 decision upheld a December 2019 district court summary judgment that ruled military funds could not be used for border wall construction. However, construction was allowed to continue under the 2019 decision pending an appeal by the government, but Friday’s ruling halted construction activity completely.  

In a brief appearance on Saturday, his first public event since his positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Trump mentioned progress on the wall, but not the ruling. “The wall is now 380 miles long; it’ll soon be finished,” he said.

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club have been warning for years that construction on the border could have devastating consequences on sensitive habitats and wildlife….

In February 2019, Trump declared a national emergency in order to use military funds to help construct the wall, asserting that the situation at the southern border presented a “security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests.”

Trump made immigration and border concerns a key issue in his 2016 presidential campaign, and ran on his promise to build a barrier across the 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexico border.