U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden ruled Monday that the House of Representatives can't sue the Executive Branch with regard to whether the so-called President can hijack appropriations power to build a wall.
The ruling appears to be fraught with contradiction. It begins this way:
Few ideas are more central to the American political tradition than the doctrine of separation of powers. Our Founders emerged from the Revolution determined to establish a government incapable of repeating the tyranny from which the Thirteen Colonies escaped. They did so by splitting power across three branches of the federal government and by providing each the tools required to preserve control over its functions. The “great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department,” James Madison explained, “consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others.”
And yet, McFadden ignores the fact that the Executive branch has run roughshod over the House of Representatives' power of the purse and instead rules that the House has no standing to sue the Executive Branch:
"This is a case about whether one chamber of Congress has the “constitutional means” to conscript the Judiciary in a political turf war with the President over the implementation of legislation. ... [W]hile the Constitution bestows upon Members of the House many powers, it does not grant them standing to hale the Executive Branch into court claiming a dilution of Congress’s legislative authority. The Court therefore lacks jurisdiction to hear the House’s claims and will deny its motion."
This is what happens when the Senate confirms right-wing hacks who wouldn't know the Constitution if it bit them in the ass. This case will now go to the D.C. Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Merrick Garland.
Twitter had thoughts:
The entire ruling is below: