WASHINGTON: A US federal judge has temporarily blocked the use of defence department funds to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, reports BBC.
The judge granted the injunction to block the use of $1bn (£786m) in Arizona and Texas because it had not been approved by Congress.President Donald Trump declared an emergency earlier this year, saying he needed $6.7bn to build the wall as a matter of national security.
It was a major campaign promise.
About 20 states, along with groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have filed lawsuits to try to stop the president using the emergency declaration to bypass Congress.
“The position that when Congress declines the executive’s request to appropriate funds, the executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with the fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” Judge Haywood Gilliam said in his ruling.
He said plaintiffs were likely to show that administration officials “exceeded their statutory authority, and that irreparable harm will result from those actions”.
Construction was due to begin as early as this weekend in the two states.