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Supreme Court Rejects Environmentalists, Gives Border Wall the Green Light

A challenge to President Donald Trump’s Border Wall has been rejected by the Supreme Court.

The court, without comment, last Monday rejected a request from three environmental groups to hear an appeal of a lower court decision that allowed construction of the wall to proceed.

The administration had urged the court to reject the case. Democrats, including Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, called for the court to take the case in hopes that it would rule against the administration, according to CNBC.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Defenders of Wildlife filed lawsuits hoping to block the wall.

The groups claimed that the proposed wall construction would harm plants, rare wildlife habitats, and threatened species, Reuters reported.

The core of the case was a 1996 law allowing the government to go ahead with border barriers without full compliance with standard environmental reviews and regulations.

District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had previously rejected the group’s call to block work. The groups claimed that the 1996 law was unconstitutional.

Curiel had rejected the contention and ruled that the Trump administration was within its powers.

The groups said they would continue to fight against the president.

“Trump has abused his power to wreak havoc along the border to score political points,” said Brian Segee, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

“He’s illegally sweeping aside bedrock environmental and public health laws. We’ll continue to fight Trump’s dangerous wall in the courts and in Congress,” he said.

The president is seeking $5 billion for wall construction in a spending bill, which has been a bone of contention in Congress. Trump has said he would allow the government to shut down rather than accept a bill without the funding, and signed an extension to keep the government running and both sides talking even past the initial Dec. 7 deadline.

Trump has been urged by South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to dig in and demand what he wants, according to Fox Business.

“I’d want the whole 5 billion because the caravan is a game-changer,” Graham said on “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News. “($1.6) billion is available to the president. He wants five. And after the caravan if you don’t see the need for additional border security, you’re just not paying much attention. So, Mr. President, dig in, do not give in when it comes to the wall.”

Graham called for a deal that involved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects the children of illegal immigrants from deportation.

“I’d put DACA on the table,” he said. “There are 700,000 young people who came here on the average age of six that have got no place to go. They’re in the DACA program. If I were the president I’d say, ‘I want two years of wall funding and I’ll give legal status to the DACA recipients.’ That’s a good deal for the country.”

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