Judge blocks Trump's administration from using military funds for the border wall

The $1 billion was secured when the president declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, but the judge ruled the funds cannot be used without congressional approval.
3:55 | 05/25/19

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Transcript for Judge blocks Trump's administration from using military funds for the border wall
Here at home a judge blocking the trump administration from using money obtained from the national emergency declaration to build portions of the border wall. ABC's Stephanie Ramos is in Washington with this story. Stephanie, good morning to you. Reporter: Eva, good morning. You said it, a California judge blocked the trump administration from using the $1 billion the president secured when he declared a national emergency at the u.s./mexico border. This overnight decision stops the administration's efforts to use military funds to build sections of president trump's wall along the border essentially saying trump cannot divert those funds without congressional approval. Now, this comes after California, 19 other states and the American civil liberties union sued the administration. Now, Stephanie, the judge said this ruling was based not on politics behind the wall but rather how it was going to be paid for. Exactly. The judge was pretty clear on this. He says this case is not about whether the challenged border barrier construction plan is wise or unwise, it's about how the administration plans to fund it. Now, this latest order applies to two planned projects that would have added 51 miles of fence in Texas and Arizona, construction was scheduled to start today. Eva. All right, Stephanie Ramos for us in Washington. Stephanie and Eva, thank you. A lot to talk about so let's bring in our chief political analyst, Matthew dowd. Matthew, good morning. I want to start with this overnight court decision. We are a year and a half, less than a year and a half away from the next presidential election. If trump goes into 2020 without fulfilling his signature campaign compromise of building the wall, is that a big liability for him? Well, I think from day one of this presidency he's been in a fight over this, over the border wall and everything on the border. As we saw there was a test case run on this during the 2018 midterm elections and the president's party and the president lost badly when he was running on this same issue running up to the campaign so I think he's going to run on this. It's because it's something that he can't seem to let go, but I never thought it was a positive for the president whether he had money for the wall or didn't have money for the wall. I think the biggest liability for the president is the judge's decision on checks and balances which could influence other judges on other decisions related to congressional authority on investigations, subpoenas and all that. That's what I think. This is another precedent of a judge saying we need checks and balances. The real upshot could be how it pertains to the issues that trump doesn't want to release information that investigators want to get. Let's move on now. The president is in Japan. Before he took off he spoke to reporters about his ongoing and really deeply personal war of words with the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, in which they're each essentially accusing the other of age-related cagney tiff decline. Take a listen. She said terrible things. So I just responded in kind. Look, you think Nancy is the same as she was, she's not. So are there winners or losers in this fight? Is somebody coming out on top, or are we all losing in the face of a rather unseemly spectacle? When you listen to that quote, it reminds me of like what you'd hear in third grade, no, you're glue, and whatever you sticks on you, doesn't stick on me, you're bubble gum. That whole thing is what it feels like. It all seems juvenile in the course of this. I don't think it's a benefit to anybody in this. I think the president again, he is supposed to be the leader of the country and not engage in this but he can't seem to not get in these kind of fights. It's an amazing situation we're in right now in our country. Matthew dowd, I have nothing negative to say about you. Thank you so much for getting up early with us on a Saturday morning. Thank you. Happy memorial day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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