The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear (pdf) a challenge to President Doanld Trump's proposed expansion to the U.S.-Mexico border wall brought by conservation and animal protection groups who said the administration improperly skirted environmental laws in its pursuit of the project.
The groups, as Bloomberg explained,
challenged a 1996 federal law that let the Homeland Security Department waive dozens of federal laws so that border-wall work could begin more quickly. The groups said the grant of authority was so sweeping it violated the constitutional separation of powers.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which brought the legal challenge along with Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity,
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A human-made barrier on the scale of the proposed border wall would have a serious impact on animals. Such a structure would cause immediate and long-term harm to countless species, including the more than 100 endangered or threatened species living along the border. Animal families would be divided, breeding and migratory patterns would be disrupted, and many species like Mexican gray wolves, jaguars, and ocelots may be driven to extinction
Expressing disappointment that the high court won't take up the case, Brian Segee, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, told Reuters, "Trump has abused his power to wreak havoc along the border to score political points."
The president, he added, is "illegally sweeping aside bedrock environmental and public-health laws. We'll continue to fight Trump's dangerous wall in the courts and in Congress."