2020 is sure starting out with a lot of win for President Donald Trump.

Early last month, U.S. District Judge David Briones barred the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion in military construction funds to pay for the border wall.

This week, a U.S. federal appeals court stayed the ruling that blocked the use of those funds to build a wall along the country’s border with Mexico.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay pending the Trump administration’s appeal of a Dec. 10 decision by a federal judge that barred the funding transfer.

In a 2-1 ruling, the panel noted that the U.S. Supreme Court had stayed an injunction in a similar border wall case from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court also said there was a “substantial likelihood” that the parties challenging the funding transfer – the county of El Paso, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights – lacked standing to sue the Trump administration.

It is interesting to note that the two Republican presidents (Reagan and Trump) appointed the two judges who halted the block. The dissenting judge is an Obama appointment.

Judges Edith Jones, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, and Andrew Oldham, a Trump appointee, also said there was a “substantial likelihood” that the plaintiffs in the Texas-based suit — the City of El Paso and the Border Network for Human Rights — lacked legal standing to pursue their claims that Trump’s planned spending violated appropriations limits imposed by Congress.

Judge Stephen Higginson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, said he was not convinced that the Justice Department had a winning case or that there was great urgency justifying the stay.

“Although I agree with my colleagues that this matter presents ‘a substantial case on the merits’ and involves a ‘serious legal question…’ I am unable to agree, without focused panel deliberation and discussion — possibly aided by dialogue with counsel — that the government presently has shown either a likelihood of success on the merits or irreparable harm in the absence of a stay,” Higginson wrote in his dissent.

The portion of the border wall that has already done up seems to be working:

Three people were rescued from atop the border wall in San Diego Sunday evening, Border Patrol said Tuesday.

According to a news release, agents spotted three people perched on top of the wall near Otay Mesa around midnight January 5.

A man and two women reportedly tried to enter the U.S. illegally by climbing the wall amid dense fog. “The trio became stuck at the top of the wet, slippery wall after smugglers abandoned them,” the agency said.

Between the Iran situation and impeachment theater, there should be plenty to keep the Democrats distracted as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shepherds more judicial appointments through the Senate. Those judges are clearly a vital barrier to illegal entry in their own right.

 

 
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