The US Supreme Court has recently denied the request to halt the construction of President Trump’s border wall over environmental issues. It was a narrow 4-5 vote margin.
A number of groups including the ACLU and the Sierra Club, have asked the court to reconsider after justices last year approved and paved the way for the Trump administration to use military funds for the construction, Fox News reported.
The four liberal justices didn’t agree with Friday’s court order.
A federal appeals court had ruled against Trump’s administration last month, but recently, justices have brought a temporary victory to the president.
In June, the Supreme Court denied to hear the appeal of a coalition of environmental groups that tried to force-stop the Trump administration’s wall construction along the US-Mexico border.
The group, led by the Center of Biological Diversity, challenged the law established in 1996. This particular law gives the president full authority to fight illegal immigration and border crossing as well as eliminates some legal disruptions.
The coalition claimed that Trump’s administration did not have sufficient environmental impact studies done, which is important before starting any significant construction work. The wall construction project endangers species like jaguars and Mexican wolves. They would be highly impacted due to the wall barrier, according to the report of Fox News. The law allowed the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any laws necessary to allow the quick construction of the border fencing. The coalition referred to it as a violation of the Constitution’s separation of power.
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals had dismissed the case, citing a poor case from 2007 which has identical context.
“This Court finds that precedent persuasive, and it compels the conclusion that Plaintiffs’ complaint fails to state plausible constitutional claims as a matter of law,” the Circuit Court’s ruling said.
The concerns over the environmental impact would seem to be a pretext for ACLU to challenge the construction project under Trump’s administration. Based on a statement made by one of their attorneys, anyone can understand it.
“The fight continues,” said Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “Every lower court to consider the question has ruled President Trump’s border wall illegal, and the Supreme Court’s temporary order does not decide the case. We’ll be back before the Supreme Court soon to put a stop to Trump’s xenophobic border wall once and for all.”
Lawyers for the Department of Justice urged the justices to leave their stay in place, noting that the government plans to ask the Supreme Court to take up the case in early August. Such a timeline would mean the justices could decide early in the fall whether to hear the dispute or not.
“As the government previously explained, halting the construction process during litigation imposes significant costs on DoD, which can be required to reimburse its contractors for the additional expenses that such a delay causes them to incur,” government lawyers argued.
In the direct, three-sentence dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, quoting a 2019 ruling, “Just over a year ago, I suggested ‘a straightforward way’ to avoid irreparable harm to the parties in this litigation: stay the District Court’s injunction ‘only to the extent’ that it ‘prevents the Government from finalizing [relevant] contracts or taking other preparatory administrative action, but leave [the injunction] in place insofar as it precludes the Government from disbursing those funds or beginning construction.'”
He also added, “Now, the Government has apparently finalized its contracts, avoiding the irreparable harm it claimed in first seeking a stay. The Court’s decision to let construction continue nevertheless, I fear, may ‘operat[e], in effect, as a final judgment.'”