Democrats reacted sharply to the Supreme Court's surprise ruling Friday that allows President Donald Trump to divert $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds to construct large sections of the border wall.
In a 5-4 ruling split down ideological lines, the Supreme Court gave the Trump administration the green light to move forward with four border wall construction contracts awarded with funds from the Department of Defense, the Associated Press reported.
The contracts — awarded to construct sections of border wall in California, Arizona, and New Mexico — had been frozen while the courts determined the legality of the Trump administration's fund diversion. The lawsuit initiating the legal challenge was brought by the ACLU on behalf of the Sierra Club.
What was the reaction?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said: "This evening's Supreme Court ruling allowing @realDonaldTrump to steal military funds to spend on a wasteful, ineffective border wall rejected by Congress is deeply flawed. Our Founders designed a democracy governed by the people — not a monarchy."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said: "This is a deeply regrettable and nonsensical decision and flies in the face of the will of Congress and the Congress's exclusive power of the purse, which our founders established in the Constitution. As litigation continues, I hope that the courts ultimately reach the correct decision that the president doesn't have the authority to build his ineffective and expensive wall."
Democratic presidential candidates also seized on the moment to attack Trump.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, said: "A border wall is the physical embodiment of @realDonaldTrump's inability to develop effective immigration policy. His use of Department of Defense funds for the wall is a phony answer to the real challenges we face—and he knows it."
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said: "Congress did not appropriate these funds for Trump's medieval vanity project. Let's be clear: Trump's wall has never been about keeping the American people safe."
Beto O'Rourke said: "Deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision. I've long opposed building walls, and while in Congress, I introduced language to prevent DOD funds from being used to plan or build a wall along our border. As President, I would do everything in my power to make that law."