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Judge: Military spending in Washington can't go to wall

February 27, 2020 - 6:12 pm

SEATTLE (AP) — President Donald Trump may not divert $89 million intended for a military construction project in Washington state to build his border wall, a U.S. judge in Seattle ruled Thursday.

The U.S. Supreme Court and some other courts have said the administration can begin diverting billions of dollars in military spending to the wall. But U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein ruled Thursday that a case brought by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson contains different arguments which are not covered by those decisions.

Rothstein found that diverting the money is unlawful because it would take money that Congress appropriated for military construction and use it for domestic law enforcement.

The $89 million was intended for a pier at Naval Base Kitsap west of Seattle. But it was part of $3.6 billion in military construction spending that Trump has tried to divert to build 175 miles of fencing in four states on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Washington attorney general said losing that construction money would cost the state $2.6 million in tax revenue over the next two years, and that’s enough to give Washington standing to challenge the administration’s plans in court.

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