A federal judge ruled Friday night that President Trump overstepped his powers when he used an emergency declaration to go around Congress and try to build his border wall, and ordered a halt to at least some of the construction.
Judge Haywood Gilliam, an Obama appointee to the Northern District of California, said the Constitution gives Congress the power to control spending, and Mr. Trump’s efforts to do an end-run around Capitol Hill, after lawmakers explicitly denied him more money for the wall, was too much.
“Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation that would have funded substantially broader border barrier construction,” the judge wrote.
He issued an injunction blocking construction planned near El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona.
The ruling is a substantial blow to Mr. Trump, who orchestrated a government shutdown to try to get his border wall built, then signed a bill to reopen government without getting the wall money he sought.
He had been counting on his emergency powers, which he said allowed him to tap the Pentagon’s money to build border barriers. Indeed, one section of law explicitly authorized the Defense Department to build barriers in drug corridors.