The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s continued construction of a wall on the country’s southern border.
A number of environmental groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity had asked the Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling, which ruled the project could continue.
The environmental group had sought in a lawsuit to bar continued construction of a physical barrier along the border with Mexico in the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas on the basis the wall was being constructed without congressional approval and was endangering wildlife.
The environmental groups further complained about the use of waivers by the Department of Homeland Security to navigate around bureaucratic red tape and speed up construction.
The Associated Press reported Monday that the high court decided not to hear the argument.
The court did not issue a statement about its decision.
But the plaintiffs have lashed out at the Trump administration.
“We’re disappointed that the Supreme Court won’t consider the Trump administration’s flagrant abuse of the law to fast-track border wall construction,” Center for Biological Diversity attorney Jean Su said in a statement to CNN.
“This administration has made a mockery of the Constitution to build an enormously destructive wall. We’ll continue to fight these illegal waivers and do everything possible to prevent further damage to the beautiful borderlands,” Su added.
Jason Rylander, representing the activist group Defenders of Wildlife, told CNN the high court’s decision is the “end of the line” for a coalition of environmentalists who had hoped to oppose the border wall in court.
“We had hoped that this would be the time that the court would take up the serious Constitutional issues surrounding this administration’s waiver of environmental law to expedite construction of the border wall. It’s unfortunate that they did not, but we believe that there continue to be serious issues,” Rylander said.
Su previously attacked President Donald Trump after the lower court ruled in favor of the DHS waivers to expedite wall construction.
“Trump has taken a chainsaw to the Constitution to build his wildly destructive border wall,” Su said in January after the group appealed a lower court ruling on the matter.
“He’s done an end run around Congress and waived dozens of laws that protect our air, water, wildlife and public lands. The Constitution prohibits this outrageous executive overreach, and we’re asking the Supreme Court to defend these bedrock principles of our democracy,” Su added.
Among other complaints, the Center for Biological Diversity argued against the wall’s apparent potential to endanger the ecosystems in states which share a border with Mexico.
“Trump’s border wall would fragment vital ecosystems and landscapes protected by both countries, jeopardizing decades of binational conservation investment. Dozens of endangered, threatened and rare wildlife species make their homes in the borderlands,” the group said in a media release.
But in the same release, the Center for Biological Diversity revealed apparent pro-illegal immigration motives in its decision to sue to halt construction of a border wall.
The group argued, “the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations.”
“The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity,” the release added.
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