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DC Circuit Rules House of Representatives has Standing to Challenge Trump's Diversion of Funds to Build his Border Wall

Added 09-26-20 04:21:02pm EST - “The opinion was written by prominent conservative Judge David Sentelle.” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “DC Circuit Rules House of Representatives has Standing to Challenge Trump's Diversion of Funds to Build his Border Wall”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

It may not get much media coverage, due to the furor over the Supreme Court nomination. But yesterday the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an important decision holding that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has standing to challenge Donald Trump's attempted diversion of military and other funds to build his border wall.

The ruling was written by senior Judge David Sentelle, a prominent conservative judge appointed by Ronald Reagan. Judge Sentelle is a highly distinguished jurist, and generally thought of as one of the two or three most conservative members of the DC Circuit. It's hard to dismiss Sentelle as either a jurisprudential lightweight, or a liberal with an axe to grind against the right.

Perhaps more importantly, Judge Sentelle's originalist and structural analysis of the issue at stake is very compelling, and might well carry the day in the Supreme Court, should they take up the case. As Sentelle emphasizes, the key reason why the House suffered a sufficient "injury" to qualify for standing is that the original meaning of the Constitution embodies the idea that it is essential that the power of the purse remain under the control of Congress, not the executive branch:

As evidenced by the quotations above, a repeated theme in the founding era was the importance of putting the power of the purse specifically in the hands of the "representatives of the people." The Federalist No. 58 at 394 (J. Madison) (Jacob E. Cooke ed., 1961)….

While custom cannot create an interest sufficient to establish standing, it can illustrate the interest of the House in its ability, as discussed above, to limit spending beyond the shared ability of the Congress as a whole.

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