Federal judge blocks Trump plan to spend millions in military funds on border wall construction

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Democrats call out Trump for lack of progress on border wall

National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd on President Trump's border wall progress.

A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion earmarked for the military to fund border wall construction.

District Court Judge David Briones, a Bill Clinton appointee, ruled in an El Paso court Tuesday that the money cannot be diverted to build 175 miles of steel barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The El Paso County and Border Network for Human Rights sued the administration in October, claiming President Trump overstepped his authority when he issued a national emergency declaration to get additional funds for the wall — his signature 2016 campaign promise.

IN SAN DIEGO, OFFICIALS SAY NEW WALL IS HELPING BRING BORDER NUMBERS DOWN

Acting CBP commissioner says new border wall gives Border Patrol a 'fighting chance'Video

Congress had already given him $1.375 billion for wall construction.

Briones ruled in October to temporarily halt the president's plan to use the Pentagon funds. His Tuesday ruling only applies to the $3.6 billion, not other money available to the administration, including funds from counter-drug operations.

In September, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed off on spending the $3.6 billion, provoking outcry from Democrats and immigration-rights advocates.

Kristy Parker, an attorney with the nonprofit group Protect Democracy who represented the plaintiffs, described Trump's declaration as a power grab.

Supreme Court clears way for Trump administration to use Pentagon funds for border wall constructionVideo

"Today’s order affirms that the president is not a king and that our courts are willing to check him when he oversteps his bounds," Parker said in a statement. "This is a huge win for democracy and the rule of law.”

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Earlier this year, the Supreme Court paved the way for the administration to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds to replace existing fencing in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

The Trump administration is expected to appeal Tuesday's decision.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg temporarily blocks release of Trump’s financial records

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital

Ginsburg spent two nights at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore where she received an IV with antibiotics and fluids; Kristin Fisher reports.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg came to the rescue of President Trump Friday and allowed his financial records to remain secret from House Democrats – for now.

The liberal Supreme Court Justice granted an emergency request from Trump’s lawyers to delay enforcement of subpoenas House Democrats issued to Deutsche Bank and Capital One for Trump’s bank records.

A lower court Tuesday ordered the banks to cooperate with Congress in handing over a treasure trove of Trump’s financial dealings in the midst of the House’s impeachment inquiry. But Ginsburg stayed the ruling until 5 pm on Dec. 13.

APPEALS COURT RULES BANKS MUST COMPLY WITH SUBPOENA FOR TRUMP FINANCIAL RECORDS

That’s when the Supreme Court is expected to vote on whether to take up at least one of the two pending cases involving Trump’s financial records.

The latest dispute is over three subpoenas issued by the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee and House Financial Services Committee for bank records for Trump and three of his children, Don Jr, Ivanka and Eric Trump.

Trump’s lawyers argued the sweeping requests for records exceed the committee’s legal authority. But the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled Dec. 3 the committees had legitimate legislative purposes for issuing the subpoenas and ordered the banks to promptly begin transmitting the documents in daily batches starting next week.

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SEX. STEPHANIE GRISHAM AT NANCY PELOSI: IT'S VERY PERSONAL

Ginsburg signed the order because she’s in charge of deciding emergency appeals out of New York. Her decision in favor of Trump’s lawyers for a one-week delay isn’t considered an indication of how she’d rule on the merits of the broader records dispute between Trump and Congress.

Ginsburg – affectionately known as RBG – was nominated to the high court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The 86-year-old has become an icon for the liberal left and for the Trump resistance.

Before he won the election, Ginsburg called Trump a “faker” in a July 2016 CNN interview and faulted him for failing to disclose his tax returns — as is custom for presidential candidates.

"He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that,” Ginsburg said.

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Trump punched back by tweeting Ginsburg’s “mind is shot” and urging her to resign.

Fox News' Shannon Bream contributed to this report.

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Supreme Court temporarily blocks Trump administration request to resume federal executions

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 6

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The Supreme Court on Friday blocked the Trump administration from resuming federal executions in an attempt to put to death four convicted murderers. The executions were slated to begin next week.

The justices upheld a lower court ruling imposed last month after inmates claimed executions by lethal injection would violate federal law.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., had imposed a temporary injunction on executions, saying they would conflict with federal law. That ruling was upheld Monday by a three-judge federal appeals court.

SUPREME COURT CONSIDERS FIRSR GUN CASE IN NEARLY A DECADE

In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, the Supreme Court is seen at sunset in Washington. The Supreme Court is preventing the Trump administration from re-starting federal executions next week after a 16-year break. The court on Friday denied the administration's plea to undo a lower court ruling in favor of inmates who have been given execution dates. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, the Supreme Court is seen at sunset in Washington. The Supreme Court is preventing the Trump administration from re-starting federal executions next week after a 16-year break. The court on Friday denied the administration's plea to undo a lower court ruling in favor of inmates who have been given execution dates. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Attorney General William Barr announced in July that the federal government would resume executions after a 16-year break, using a single drug — pentobarbital — to put inmates to death. A legal battle has drawn out over that time over the drugs used for lethal injections.

Federal executions were all but halted after the government found it difficult to obtain the three-drug cocktail needed for such injections.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said the legal battle would continue.

"While we are disappointed with the ruling, we will argue the case on its merits in the D.C. Circuit and, if necessary, the Supreme Court,” she said in a statement.

In a two-page statement, three justices — Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch — wrote they expected the Trump administration to prevail in court.

"The Court has expressed the hope that the Court of Appeals will proceed with 'appropriate dispatch,' and I see no reason why the Court of Appeals should not be able to decide this case, one way or the other, within the next 60 days," Alito said.

Federal government to resume capital punishment for first time since 2003Video

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The government had scheduled the execution of Danny Lee, who was convicted of killing a family of three — including an 8-year-old — on Monday. Wesley Ira Purkey had been scheduled to be put to death Dec. 13 for the murder and dismemberment of a 16-year-old girl and the slaying of an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio.

Executions for Alfred Bourgeois, who beat, tortured and molested his 2-year-old daughter, and Dustin Lee Honken, who killed five people — including two children, were scheduled for January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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