A federal judge in the US state of Washington has ruled that President Donald Trump cannot divert funds for an American submarine base to build a wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico.
On Thursday, Judge Barbara Rothstein in the U. District Court for the Western District of Washington permanently blocked the Trump administration’s decision to “reprogram” funding for nearly $89 million for the Naval Base Kitsap, Xinhua news agency quoted the state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson as saying.
The funds were previously approved by Congress to build a pier and maintenance facility at the Bangor naval base, home to the US Pacific Fleet’s Trident ballistic submarines.
The judge’s ruling “is an important victory for the rule of law, and the system of checks and balances our founders enshrined in our Constitution”, said Ferguson, who filed a lawsuit in September 2019 to challenge Trump’s decision to divert the funds for building the wall.
“We’re looking forward to this $89 million being used the way Congress intended — to support a military construction project in Washington state,” Ferguson added.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee also welcomed the judge’s ruling, saying the court agreed that money from Washington state projects should not be diverted to help subsidize Trump’s border wall.
“Washington will continue to fight against any proposed efforts to move funds out of our state for unlawful and unconstitutional purposes,” he said.
“I thank the Attorney General for his continued fight on behalf of Washingtonians.”
This ruling marks the 25th legal victory for the Washington attorney general’s office in litigation against the Trump administration.