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9th Circuit sides with Trump in legal battle over environmental objections to border wall construction

9th Circuit sides with Trump in legal battle over environmental objections to border wall construction

Yup, the 9th Circuit.

Last September, I reported that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump’s proposal to expedite construction of a wall at the southern border violates environmental laws.

In a decision that perhaps is the saddest loss for #TheResistance since Trump scuttled American participation in the Paris Climate Accord, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Trump administration has the power to waive environmental laws in order to speed up border wall construction.

Yes, you read that right…the 9th Circuit sided with Trump.

The judges said federal law gives the administration broad powers to waive any laws in order to get the wall built.

“In short, the plain text [of the law] grants DHS authority to construct the prototype, San Diego and Calexico projects,” the judges ruled.

They were referring to some of the earliest wall-building projects the young Trump administration pursued.

Since then, Homeland Security has constructed new fencing across the southwest border, replacing vehicle barriers and upgrading old, substandard fence. And last week the government began to build the first new barriers on the border that was previously unprotected by any barriers.

The Department of Homeland Security had legal authority to waive dozens of environmental laws when it authorized building the model concrete barriers and replacing 28 miles of fencing in San Diego County and 3 miles at the border near Calexico, a process I have been following closely.

Almost as good as the 9th Circuit handing down this ruling is the fact they used a law signed by Democratic icon to assert Trump’s authority on this issue:

The court cited an immigration law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 that allowed Homeland Security to “install additional physical barriers and roads” near the border and override any laws that would interfere with “expeditious construction.”

…In lawsuits challenging the Southern California projects, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and environmental groups argued that the 1996 law’s authorization of “additional physical barriers” did not apply to replacements of existing barriers, such as the fencing in the two counties.

But the court said the construction in San Diego County was designed to replace fencing built in the 1990s with a more effective barrier, and the new fencing in Calexico would replace a 14-foot barrier with one that was 18 to 25 feet high. Those qualify as “additional physical barriers,” the court said, and even if they did not, they were covered by the 1996 law.

The shock among those who follow these issues is palpable.

I am going to open up a bottle of liberal tears and enjoy the El Paso rally.

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Extra sweet? More like extra bitter, sour, and salty!

It’s not that the 9th circuit sided with Trump that’s so amazing. It’s that they sided with the law as written, instead of as the left wants it to say.

The likeliest solution is that they’re terrified of what Trump might do if pushed too far.

Subotai Bahadur | February 12, 2019 at 9:35 pm

I suspect that the DNC will see that the two judges who backed Trump will win vacation stays at Cibolo Creek Ranch in Shafter, Texas. In the Antonin Scalia suite.

Subotai Bahadur

JusticeDelivered | February 12, 2019 at 9:35 pm

Great news, now lets ram that wall down top down or bottom up.

It somehow remains shocking when judges respect the plain text of the law, at least in 2019.

The puke Becerra is the pride and joy of Stanford Law School.

The howls from the usual suspects will be full on scream mode tomorrow morning when the likes or Morning Slow and Joyless Reiid get on the camera.

was designed to replace fencing built in the 1990s with a more effective barrier, and the new fencing in Calexico would replace a 14-foot barrier with one that was 18 to 25 feet high.

That may be the key. The extra 4 to 9 feet is what makes the new fence an “additional physical barrier.” I suppose the court could have been annoying and insist that only the additional parts qualify for expeditions construction, so they’d have to tack new pieces onto the old fence. Such pettifoggery would not be unexpected from the 9th.

A three-judge panel from CA9 sided with Trump? We should ask Peruta what the value of a three-judge panel in CA9 is.

    CDR D in reply to randian. | February 13, 2019 at 10:52 am

    EXACTLY! Now some foaming at the mouth leftard judge on the court (there are plenty) will call for an en banc review an overturn the 2-1 decision.

Might Trump’s recent nomination of 3 conservative justices to the 9th had some effect on the sitting justices?

The decision surprises if only because past decisions out of the 9th side-stepped the law and instead cited Trump’s campaign rhetoric which they held to be “racist” and thereby concluded Trump’s motivation wasn’t the law, but bigotry. The same lame-brained logic could have raised its head again – but something changed. Bringing in more conservative justices? The idea from months ago of dissolving the 9th? Oh well – pleasantly surprised here.

Not every judge in the 9th is crazy. If the entire 9th heard the case the decision may have been different.

    CDR D in reply to Jackie. | February 13, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Well, the good ones, and there really are (O’Scannlion and Callahan come to mind), are severely outnumbered. I would expect an en banc.

CA will be flowing with DEMONCRAT tears today – the aftershock may cause an earthquake and split CA in two. Wouldn’t that be nice???

Americans’ civil rights, safety, and security, take precedence. Emigration reform to mitigate collateral damage at both ends of the bridge and throughout. Unplanned parenthood for human rights, Duck Dynasties, and a sustainable future.