Haywood Gilliam, the U.S. District Court judge who issued a preliminary injunction on Friday partially blocking President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall construction, once donated close to $30,000 to Democrats, a political action committee, and former President Barack Obama.
Federal election records show the Obama-appointed judge gave $6,900 to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, made up of two $2,300 contributions to Obama for America and one $2,300 contribution to the Obama Victory Fund. Four years later, Gilliam donated $5,000 to Obama for America and $8,500 to the Obama Victory fund, for a total of $13,500. He also added a $4,500 donation to the Democratic National Committee in addition to $3,100 to the Covington and Burling LLP PAC from 2012 to 2014.
The Epoch Times, which first reported Gilliam’s political contribution history, noted the donations began in 2007, a year after Gilliam’s stint as assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of California, and ended after he began his U.S. district judgeship.
During his confirmation, Gilliam said he “would base my decisions solely on the facts of each case and the applicable precedent, without regard to any political ideology or motivation,” and that his personal views “would not interfere in any way with my ability to neutrally apply the law,” The Washington Examiner reported.
Judge Gilliam’s Friday preliminary injunction reportedly bars the Pentagon from transferring $1 billion from counter-drug funding to expand or enhance border barriers. It also “appears to jeopardize another $1.5 billion of the $8.1 billion the administration planned to use for border construction,” according to Politico.
[T]he Court hereby GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. The terms of the injunction are as follows: Defendants Patrick M. Shanahan, in his official capacity as Acting Secretary of Defense, Kevin K. McAleenan, in his official capacity as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Steven T. Mnuchin, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, and all persons acting under their direction, are enjoined from taking any action to construct a border barrier in the areas Defendants have identified as Yuma Sector Project 1 and El Paso Sector Project 1 using funds reprogrammed by DoD under Section 8005 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019.
The order involves money “not contingent on [Trump’s] emergency declaration,” Politico reported, and only applies to the El Paso, Texas and Yuma, Arizona sectors.
President Trump responded to Gilliam’s ruling on Saturday, calling it a “ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking” by “another activist Obama appointed judge.”
Another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us on a section of the Southern Wall that is already under construction. This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking. We are asking for an expedited appeal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2019