That allowed President Donald Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term. The administration wanted to use the money to replace a total of 129 miles of rundown or outdated fencing in New Mexico, Arizona and California. As of mid-July, 92 miles have been completed, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Following the latest appeals court ruling, the wall's challengers returned to the high court to ask that construction be halted.
The Trump administration opposed the request and said it would file paperwork in August asking the Supreme Court to hear arguments in the case.
The case has its origins in the 35-day partial government shutdown that started in December 2018. Trump ended the shutdown after Congress gave him about $1.4 billion in border wall funding, but that was far less than the $5.7 billion he was seeking. Trump then declared a national emergency to take cash from other government accounts to use to construct sections of the wall.
At the time, the money Trump identified included $2.5 billion in Defense Department money, $3.6 billion from military construction funds and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.
The case before the Supreme Court involved just the $2.5 billion in Defense Department funds. The American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the Trump administration on behalf of Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, has said it will seek to tear down sections of the wall that were built with the money.
The Supreme Court is on break for the summer but acts on certain pressing items. It will begin hearing cases again in October.