Working with counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, Sidley secured a significant high-profile victory on behalf of the House in its challenge to the Trump administration’s diversion of US$8.1 billion for the southern border wall — billions of dollars more than Congress had appropriated for its construction. Sidley represented the House in the appeal from the dismissal of its direct challenge to the administration’s spending under the Appropriations Clause. In a 3-0 decision on September 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of the case and ruled that the House has Article III standing because the administration’s actions effectively nullified the House’s authority to limit federal spending under the Appropriations Clause.
In its ruling, the D.C. Circuit indicated that the Trump administration had “cut the House out of its constitutionally indispensable legislative role” of determining appropriations. “To put it simply, the Appropriations Clause requires two keys to unlock the Treasury, and the House holds one of those keys. The executive branch has, in a word, snatched the House’s key out of its hands. That is the injury over which the House is suing,” the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit wrote. The case is House of Representatives v. Mnuchin.
Sidley’s team representing the U.S. House of Representatives included Joseph Guerra, Virginia Seitz, Carter Phillips, and Christopher Eiswerth (all Washington, D.C.). The team was supported by paralegals Karen Mawdsley and John Meehan (also Washington, D.C.).