US Judge rejects Congress challenge to border wall funding

first_imgWashington DC: A federal judge on Monday denied a House request to prevent President Donald Trump from tapping Defense Department money for his proposed border wall with Mexico, saying Congress lacked authority to sue. Trump’s victory is muted by a federal ruling in California last month that blocked construction of key sections of the wall. The California case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’US District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, wrote that the House’s lawsuit was “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.” McFadden said Congress didn’t have authority in this case but that he didn’t mean to imply the legislative body could never challenge the president in court over separation of powers. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”An old maxim in politics holds that, ‘Where you stand depends on where you sit,'” he wrote. “At law too, whether a plaintiff has standing often depends on where he sits. A seat in Congress comes with many prerogatives, but legal standing to superintend the execution of laws is not among them.” The Justice Department welcomed the decision, saying the judge “rightly ruled that the House of Representatives cannot ask the judiciary to take its side in political disputes and cannot use federal courts to accomplish through litigation what it cannot achieve using the tools the Constitution gives to Congress.” Lawyers for the House didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment, including whether they will appeal. A federal judge in Oakland, California, ruled May 24 that Trump overstepped his authority and blocked work from beginning on two of the highest-priority, Pentagon-funded wall projects one spanning 46 miles (74 kilometers) in New Mexico and another covering 5 miles (8 kilometers) in Yuma, Arizona. The administration plans to appeal the ruling by Haywood Gilliam Jr, an appointee of President Barack Obama. At stake is billions of dollars that would allow Trump to make progress on a signature campaign promise heading into his bid for a second term. The administration faces several lawsuits over the emergency declaration but only two sought to block construction during the legal challenge. Trump declared a national emergency in February after losing a fight with the Democratic-led House that led to a 35-day government shutdown and identified up to USD 8.1 billion for wall construction. The funds include USD 3.6 billion from military construction funds, USD 2.5 billion from Defense Department counterdrug activities and USD 600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.last_img read more

Fortis to sell minority stake in ITC to Singapores sovereign wealth fund

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) has signed a deal to help finance its blockbuster US$11.3 billion acquisition of U.S. electric transmission company ITC.The utility company announced Wednesday it has an agreement that will see Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund take a minority stake in ITC Holdings Corp. for US$1.228 billion in cash.Under the agreement, GIC Private Ltd. will acquire a 19.9 per cent equity interest in ITC Holdings Corp.The ITC deal announced in February would expand Fortis’s holdings in the U.S. and give it access to more than 25,000 kilometres of transmission lines.The agreement requires the blessing of ITC and Fortis shareholders as well as regulatory and federal approvals and other closing conditions.It is expected to be completed later this year.“An important milestone in the acquisition of ITC has been accomplished,” Fortis chief executive Barry Perry said in a statement.“We are very pleased to be partnering with GIC in the future growth and development of ITC. GIC is astute and thoughtful, with a proven track record in North American infrastructure investing.” by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 20, 2016 6:59 am MDT Last Updated Apr 20, 2016 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Fortis to sell minority stake in ITC to Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund read more