Next Week: Sierra Club, ACLU and SBCC in Appeals Court to Challenge Trump’s Border Wall


On Tuesday, November 12th, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on a challenge to President Trump’s abuse of emergency powers to take border wall funds Congress denied. The lawsuit, Sierra Club v. Trump, was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

The Ninth Circuit previously denied the government’s motion to temporarily lift a district court order permanently blocking wall construction using $2.5 billion in unauthorized military funds, and will now hear arguments on the merits of the government’s appeal. In declining to temporarily lift the block, the Ninth Circuit stated: “Under the Appropriations Clause, it is Congress that is to make decisions regarding how to spend taxpayer dollars. Congress did not appropriate money to build the border barriers Defendants seek to build here. Congress presumably decided such construction at this time was not in the public interest. It is not for us to reach a different conclusion.”

Next week’s hearing comes under an expedited proceedings schedule requested by the organizations. The request was in response to a Supreme Court order giving the Trump administration a temporary green light to begin wall construction using up to $2.5 billion in unauthorized military funds. The Supreme Court has not yet decided the ultimate outcome of the case, and no court has given Trump’s abuse of powers the stamp of approval, said that the wall construction is lawful, or suggested that the Sierra Club and the SBCC do not face real injuries from Trump’s actions.


ACLU (Attorney Dror Ladin to argue), Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC)

“Since the President declared a national emergency to build his border wall, we have seen the tragic destruction of havens like Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the tearing apart of communities and irreversible damage to the Southwest,” said Gloria Smith, Managing Attorney at the Sierra Club. “It is absolutely critical that the court puts a stop to anymore of Trump’s destruction of our environment and endangerment of communities.”

Attorneys for the states of California and New Mexico will appear in support of their consolidated cross-appeal, and the House of Representatives will also appear before the court on behalf of amici in support of the ACLU, Sierra Club and SBCC’s case, as well as the states’ case.


Tuesday, November 12, 9:30 a.m. PT / 12:30 p.m. ET


James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, Room 338

95 Seventh St.

San Francisco, California


The hearing will be live-streamed here:

Plaintiff’s opposition to the government’s appeal can be found here:

Additional information on the Supreme Court order is here:

Additional information about the case is available here:

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit