Federal judge says Obama Presidential Center in Chicago can move forward with ‘no delay’

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A federal judge said Tuesday that construction on former President Obama’s presidential center in Chicago can move forward with “no delay.”

U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey, an Obama appointee, made the decision after hearing oral arguments Tuesday from an advocacy group that filed a lawsuit seeking to block the center’s construction, according to The Associated Press.

{mosads}Obama’s state-of-the-art presidential center, set to be located on waterfront property near downtown Chicago, has come under fire after advocacy group Protect Our Parks alleged earlier this year that the city was illegally transferring public land to a private entity, in this case Obama’s Foundation.

Blakey is expected to issue a written ruling dismissing the group’s lawsuit and clearing the way for construction of Obama’s presidential library to begin.

City attorneys argued the advocacy group is misunderstanding the law and misrepresenting the environmental impact of the planned construction while maintaining the wide public interest the center would serve.

The AP noted that an attorney for the advocacy group plans to appeal Blakey’s decision.

“Today’s ruling, while disappointing, is by no means the final word,” Charles A. Birnbaum, CEO of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, said in a statement to The Hill. “Though the carefully orchestrated local approvals process has been enabled by pliant municipal officials, there are still federal-level reviews underway for this nationally significant work of landscape architecture that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”

The $500 million presidential library is set to be constructed in the Jackson Park area of Chicago’s South Side and will reportedly include classroom space and a recording studio along with a public library branch.

—Updated at 3:09 p.m.

Tags Barack Obama Obama presidential library Presidential library

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