Appeals court: Trump can't use Pentagon cash for border wall

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) An appeals court has upheld a freeze on Pentagon money to build a border wall with Mexico, casting doubt on President Donald Trump's ability to make good on a signature campaign promise before the 2020 election.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with a lower court ruling that prevented the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of wall in Arizona and New Mexico.

Wednesday's decision is a setback for Trump's ambitious plans. He ended a 35-day government shutdown in February after Congress gave him far less than he wanted.

He then declared a national emergency that the White House said would free billions of dollars from the Pentagon.

The case may still be considered, but the administration cannot build during the legal challenge.