July 27 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of the Trump administration beginning construction on a section of the border wall while it battles in court for the right to use Department of Defense funds to do so.
President Donald Trump is seeking the right to transfer $2.5 billion of Defense Department money to the Department of Homeland Security to build part of the wall along the Mexico border he's pushed for since the early days of his presidential campaign.
He praised the ruling on Twitter.
"Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!" he said.
The Sierra Club, which sued to block the funds transfer, said it plans to expedite proceedings to restore a permanent block on the border wall construction.
"Our Founders designed a democracy governed by the people -- not a monarchy."
The 5-4 high court ruling was split along party lines, with more conservative justices favoring the Trump administration. Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer said he was in favor of allowing the administration to begin preparations for the wall, but not actual construction.
Trump declared a national emergency in February due to an influx of migrants along the southern border. As part of the declaration, he directed $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense to spend on border security.
He faced multiple lawsuits and attempts to block the emergency declaration in Congress.
In June, District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. placed an injunction on the transfer of funds and said building the wall would threaten the habitats of threatened species such as bighorn sheep. He said the statute the administration cited didn't allow the transfer of funds.