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SCOTUS Declines to Hear Environmental Challenge Blocking Construction of Border Wall

SCOTUS Declines to Hear Environmental Challenge Blocking Construction of Border Wall

A law signed by President Clinton allows the executive branch to bypass environmental laws for construction of barriers near the border

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH4PEV0ZxYQ

Monday, the Supreme Court said it would not hear a challenge brought by environmental groups against the Trump administration concerning the construction of the border wall. The complaint alleged construction of the border wall would violate environmental laws and threaten endangered species.


In 1996, President Clinton signed a law allowing the “the executive branch with authority to waive environmental laws if those laws impede construction of barriers and roads near the border,” according to CNBC.

The law was expanded by Congress in 2005 to give the Department of Homeland Security authority to waive “all legal requirements” that could stand in the way of border construction.

The environmental groups said that the government’s ability to waive the laws is unconstitutional. The justices did not issue a ruling on that matter.

But because they will not hear the case, a February ruling by a federal judge in San Diego will remain in place.

That ruling in favor of the government was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. In 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said the Indiana-born judge could not be impartial in a case concerning Trump University because he was “Mexican.” But, in February, Trump cheered Curiel’s ruling as a legal victory.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity were supported in their case by a coalition including nine Democratic members of the House of Representatives and the libertarian think tank The Cato Institute.

Among the Democrats urging the justices to take the case was Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Texan who has floated the possibility of a 2020 presidential run.

The Center for Biological Diversity has said that construction of a 2,000 mile wall along America’s southern border represents a “looming tragedy for the region’s diverse wildlife and people, as well as its rugged and spectacular landscapes.”

Trump has continued pressuring lawmakers to ensure a wall along the southern border is funded in the next budget and has threatened drastic immigration stagnation if funding is not granted.

From the Miami Herald:

Congressional leaders introduced a two-week funding bill Monday to avert a partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s border wall, as business in the Capitol came to a standstill for ceremonies honoring former President George H.W. Bush.

The stopgap measure would keep the government funded through Dec. 21, two weeks after a Friday deadline when funding for a portion of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, is set to expire.

The measure comes as Trump kept up pressure Monday on congressional Democrats to fund his promised border wall and threatened other actions to deter illegal immigration as negotiations continue.

“We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall,” Trump tweeted without evidence Monday. “Either way, people will NOT be allowed into our Country illegally! We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary.”

House leaders canceled roll call votes this week for ceremonies honoring Bush, who died Friday, meaning an extension will be needed to avert a funding lapse.

While Democrats prefer a one-week extension, they signaled they would not object to a two-week delay. Trump made clear over the weekend he would agree to a short-term funding extension to allow for ceremonies honoring Bush.

Democrats have little interest in providing the $5 billion Trump wants for the southern border, and with the party set to take control of the House in the new year, opposition to the wall has hardened.

Even some Republicans balk at spending more than the $1.6 billion for fencing and other security improvements already provided. But Trump has signaled he’s ready to fight for the money as one of the last big-ticket items of the GOP-led Congress before Democrats take over the House following a decisive victory in the midterm elections.

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Comments

“That ruling in favor of the government was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

In 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said the Indiana-born judge could not be impartial in a case
concerning Trump University

because he was “Mexican.”

But, in February, Trump cheered Curiel’s ruling as a legal
victory”.

I guess he was a Mexican can, not a Mexican can’t

Sometimes President Trump is indeed cringe worthy

    As in football, a rational person may cheer the ref when they make a good call and boo them when they make a bad call. It’s just when the ref shows up to the game wearing all the other team’s merchandise, we just have to wonder about their overall impartiality.

    President Trump is not a career politician. If he had been an adult lifetime self-serving career politician, he may have been much more politically correct. As it is, though, President Trump is quite refreshingly non-politically correct. That is just one of many reasons why so many people voted for him to be POTUS.

    And, to be clear, President Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Gonzalo Curiel – the San Diego Federal Court judge in the Trump University class action lawsuit – might not give him a fair shake because of the judge’s heritage and present day membership and vested interest in Latino political activism. President Trump had said, “Judge Curiel is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine, but I say he’s got bias.”

    The ‘pro-Mexican club/society’ that President Trump was referring to is La Raza, and more specifically, “La Raza Lawyers” [La Raza meaning – “The Race”]; an organization with a stated mission “to promote the interests of Latinos…”. There is certainly much more, but the gist of President Trump’s comments while possibly delivered abruptly and in an unorthodox manner were not entirely unreasonable – especially when we consider how blatantly activist America’s courts are and how race infatuated and racist and totally “Open Borders” that La Raza and essentially the entire Left is as well.

    CKYoung in reply to gonzotx. | December 5, 2018 at 3:58 am

    The left decries “all white juries.” Why? Because the left would have you believe “all white juries” can not be fair to minorities. Leftists are hypocrites, employ double standards, lie, cheat and steal. This is why I reject your comment and downvoted it.

Bill Clinton must have been a very good mood when he signed that.

Lewinsky was probably busy under the desk.

“The complaint alleged construction of the border wall would violate environmental laws and threaten endangered species.”

By endangered species they mean illegal alien unregistered democrats.

Merry Christmas, scotus.

If them light poles were laser cannons… you wouldn’t need a wall. And you woulsn’t need but one light pole every quarter mile.

The Supreme Court is not the place to play games.

Thanks, Bill!

ScottTheEngineer | December 4, 2018 at 6:00 am

“then-presidential candidate Donald Trump said the Indiana-born judge could not be impartial in a case concerning Trump University because he was “Mexican.””

False. He said the judge could not be impartial because he is a member of La Raza.

If you don’t watch the news your uninformed. If you do watch the news your misinformed. -Denzel Washington.

Kimberly should have corrected the quote , I dare say, prior to posting the article.

Paul In Sweden | December 5, 2018 at 5:04 am

In somewhat related news that I would have posted in the Forum if it was accessible but it is not for some reason:

The much-publicized dispute between Louisiana landowners and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was about a lot more than one endangered species.

Unanimity is elusive in today’s America but the Supreme Court achieved it last week. Although the dusky gopher frog is endangered, so are property rights and accountable governance. Both would have been further jeopardized if the frog’s partisans in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had gotten away with designating 1,544 privately owned Louisiana acres as a “critical habitat” for the three-inch amphibian, which currently lives only in Mississippi and could not live in the Louisiana acres as they are now. The eight justices (the case was argued before Brett Kavanaugh joined the court) rejected both the government’s justification for its designation, and the government’s argument that its action should have received judicial deference, not judicial review.

In his opinion for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts explained that back in the day you could not sling a brick without conking a dusky gopher frog in the longleaf-pine forests of coastal Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. But 98 percent of those forests have been supplanted by urban development, agriculture, and timber harvesting. The frog species, one of which was last seen in Louisiana in 1965, was designated endangered in 2001, when about 100 were found at a single pond in southern Mississippi, where the FWS decided the frogs were at risk of extinction from hurricanes or other natural events.

The frog is, like a well-born Victorian maiden, a frail flower, requiring everything to be just so: The frog needs an “open canopy” forest with suitable ground vegetation and food supplied if the area experiences frequent fires, and the frog only breeds in “ephemeral” ponds that are dry part of the year, thereby protecting the tadpoles from hungry fish. The FWS designated the 1,544 acres a “critical habitat” even though (1) no such frog has inhabited them for half a century and (2) none could live long there unless the land were substantially modified (e.g., trimming the canopy, producing suitable undergrowth, and experiencing fires that the acres’ loblolly pines cannot withstand) and (3) the loss of the acres could cost the owners $34 million in lost timber-farming and development opportunities.

Writing in the manner of a schoolmarm whose patience has been sorely tried by a slow pupil, Roberts said: “According to the ordinary understanding of how adjectives work, ‘critical habitat’ must also be ‘habitat.’ Adjectives modify nouns — they pick out a subset of a category that possesses a certain quality.” The 1,544-acre habitat that the FWS says is essential to preserving the species would be, in its unimproved condition, lethal to the species. So, the case has been sent back to a lower court, which is directed to think long and hard about the meaning of “habitat,” and to reconsider its peculiar theory that there is no “habitability requirement” when designating a “critical habitat.”

–Supreme Court Dusky Gopher Frog Case: Administrative State Hit with Unanimous, Welcome Blow | National Review
–https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/supreme-court-decision-dusty-gopher-frog-administrative-state/
-RETRIEVED-Wed Dec 05 2018 10:57:46 GMT+0100 (Central European Standard Time)

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