[U] YAWN. Permanent Injunction, Against Trump’s “Slush Fund” — For Wall: UPHELD In Ninth Circuit Tonight.

Updated 07.26.19 @ 9 PM EDT: In a smallish but surprising way, five of the Supremes have provisionally allowed, over a very precise Breyer dissent, some of the money to start flowing, while a cert. petition is drafted by Team Trump. That’s foolishly wasteful, but it won’t ultimately matter to the central question: whether Congress holds the power of the purse. Spoiler alert: it does. End update.

As we predicted, right before the Fourth Holiday, proper [as irony would have it — to remind Trump his ode to himself is. . . impotent], the Ninth Circuit just said “No” to Trump — on his stealing DoD money for his wall.

In doing so — and knowing that this one will reach the Supremes — the Ninth Circuit panel quoted Kavanaugh back to himself. See below — the Kavanaugh bit is at page 74, et seq. The language is. . . majestic, largely because the question is so clearly fundamental — and well-settled, against Trump’s would be usurpations:

. . . .The Constitution assigns to Congress the power of the purse. Under the Appropriations Clause, it is Congress that is to make decisions regarding how to spend taxpayer dollars. As we have explained, see supra Section V.C.2., the Appropriations Clause serves as a check by requiring that “not a dollar of [money in the Treasury] can be used in the payment of any thing not thus previously sanctioned” by Congress,” as “[a]ny other course would give to the fiscal officers a most dangerous discretion.” Reeside v. Walker, 52 U.S. 272, 291 (1850). In the words of then-Judge Kavanaugh, the Appropriations Clause is

. . .a bulwark of the Constitution’s separation of powers among the three branches of the National Government. It is particularly important as a restraint on Executive Branch officers: If not for the Appropriations Clause, the executive would possess an unbounded power over the public purse of the nation; and might apply all its monied resources at his pleasure.

U.S. Dep’t of Navy v. Fed. Labor Relations Auth., 665 F.3d 1339, 1347 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (Kavanaugh, J.) (quotation marks omitted).

The Clause prevents the Executive Branch from “even inadvertently obligating the Government to pay money without statutory authority. . . .”

In his concurrence in Youngstown, Justice Jackson made eloquent comments that seem equally apt today:

The essence of our free Government is “leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the law” — to be governed by those impersonal forces which we call law. Our Government is fashioned to fulfill this concept so far as humanly possible. The Executive, except for recommendation and veto, has no legislative power. The executive action we have here originates in the individual will of the President and represents an exercise of authority without law. . . . With all its defects, delays and inconveniences, men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government except that the Executive be under the law, and that the law be made by parliamentary deliberations.

Such institutions may be destined to pass away. But it is the duty of the Court to be last, not first, to give them up. . . .

343 U.S. at 654-55 (Jackson, J., concurring).

Heeding Justice Jackson’s words, we deny [Trump] Defendants’ motion for a stay. . . .

Onward. I love it. Suck that, Baby Tyrant.

नमस्ते

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