Things seem to finally take a turn for President Donald Trump on Monday after a federal judge rejected the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives’ lawsuit to stop him from using emergency powers to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The rejection of the lawsuit came from Judge Trevor N. McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge McFadden, who was appointed by the President, said in his ruling that the House could not show that it had suffered the sort of injury that gave it standing to sue.
Currently, Judge McFadden’s ruling will not have too much of an effect on the border situation now due to the fact that rulings from trial judges do not set binding precedents. In addition, other groups have already secured an order to block the President from proceeding with his plans for the wall. However, that could all change soon if other courts accept Judge McFadden’s decision based on his reasoning, which will significantly reduce the litigation options the House will have on this issue.
Judge McFadden indicated that courts should only be called upon to resolve disputes between the two branches only as a last resort.
“Congress has several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power to expressly restrict the transfer or spending of funds for a border wall,” said McFadden. “As it has recently shown, the House is more than capable of investigating conduct by the executive. These tools show that this lawsuit is not a last resort for the House.”
The ruling by Judge McFadden, however, is in opposition to a 2015 decision from Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Federal District Court in Washington. Judge Collyer ruled that the Republican-controlled House had the right to challenge spending under Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The House argued that suing the White House was the only way they had available to preserve its constitutional given power that allowed them to control federal spending — as well as the administration’s intent to distribute $136 billion to insurance companies for subsidies.
Judge McFadden, however, did limit the scope of his reasoning in this case by indicating that courts may weigh in on disputes between the other two branches arising from congressional subpoenas.
“Using the judiciary to vindicate the House’s investigatory power is constitutionally distinct,” McFadden added. “The investigatory power is one of the few under the Constitution that each house of Congress may exercise individually. It is perhaps for this reason that the House’s power to investigate has been enforced with periodic help from federal courts.”
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter