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Court battle over Trump-era border wall funding over, as latest state ends lawsuit

Court battle over Trump-era border wall funding over, as latest state ends lawsuit


MADISON, Wis. (AP) The years-long legal fight over former President Donald Trump’s decision to embezzle billions of dollars to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border officially ended on Tuesday.

Wisconsin became the latest of 20 states to drop both lawsuits, which were rendered virtually moot when President Joe Biden issued an executive order in 2021 that halted construction of the wall using up to $6.7 billion earmarked for National Guard units, military construction projects and police.

Wisconsin stood to lose $8 million that was supposed to cover a new National Guard firing range. The federal government has since reinstated the money for the shooting range, according to attorneys for Wisconsin legislatures and the state Department of Justice.

The annual Hemingway Look-Alike contest was won by a Wisconsin man who was celebrating his 68th birthday.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court will move from conservative majority control to liberal control next month and Democrats have high hopes the change will lead to the overturning of states’ abortion bans and redesigned maps to weaken GOP control over the Legislature and congressional districts.

A new lawsuit in Wisconsin by a National Democratic law firm seeks to once again allow voters to return mail-in ballots to ballot boxes, a practice that was banned by the state Supreme Court last year.

President Joe Biden is banking his re-election bid on the political and financial muscle of the Democratic National Committee.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had ruled in favor of the states in October 2020, prompting the federal government to ask the United States Supreme Court to reconsider the cases. After Bidens’ executive order, judges sent the cases to a lower court.

A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., dismissed the other states, including California, New York, Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota, from lawsuits on July 17.

The Wisconsin Legislatures Finance Committee granted the state Justice Department permission to drop the lawsuit on Tuesday. The Republican-controlled committee voted unanimously and without debate.

The state Department of Justice made its formal request to dismiss charges on July 18, triggering Tuesday’s meeting.

The department needed permission from lawmakers to go out of business because of a 2018 law that requires the agency to seek approval from the finance committee before settling lawsuits. Wisconsin Republicans passed the law to give themselves more control over the activities of Democratic Attorney General Josh Kauls after he defeated his Republican predecessor in the November 2018 election.




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