The court sent the case back to the U.S. Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with instructions to vacate its judgments and told a district court to “consider what further proceedings are necessary and appropriate in light of the changed circumstances in this case,” noting that Trump isn’t president any longer.
The Supreme Court previously issued rulings in the case, Trump v. Sierra Club, over the past several years after Trump in 2019 said he would declare a national emergency and redirect funds via the National Emergencies Act to construct the border barrier.
Lower courts ruled that the former president’s order violated the Constitution’s clause around the separation of powers, while the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction that blocked the construction of the wall while it was being litigated. But in 2019, the Supreme Court placed a stay on the injunction.
When the Sierra Club brought the case back to the high court, it declined to lift the stay on the injunction. The Sierra Club argued that if the stay isn’t lifted, the Trump administration would be able to finish the wall before the court can render a decision on the case’s merits.
Then-President Trump appealed to the court in August 2020 and argued that the Sierra Club, a left-wing environmentalist organization, doesn’t have the standing to file its lawsuit. The Supreme Court took up the appeal and scheduled arguments in February 2021, but those were rescinded after the incoming administration asked the court to postpone the case.
In December 2018, amid an impasse on wall funding, Trump said the government would shut down unless border wall funding was included in a continuing resolution to fund the federal government beyond a certain date. Days later, in early 2019, the former president called on Congress to allocate more than $5 billion in funding and said he wouldn’t sign the resolution to end the partial shut down because it wouldn’t provide funding for the barrier.
That prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to issue a televised speech rejecting the president’s funding request. Ultimately, days later, Trump signed a measure that included $1.375 billion in funding for the wall, which was a signature promise of the former president during his 2016 campaign. Trump then declared an emergency and directed billions more in funding to build the wall.
Trump, who visited the border late last month, said during a news conference alongside Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that the Biden administration was wrong for stopping construction of the wall and called for the process to be restarted. Biden, in an executive order several months ago, termed the wall as ineffective and wasteful spending.