Supreme Court refuses to hear environmental groups' challenge to border wall

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from conservation and animal protection groups challenging the Trump administration’s power to bypass state and local environmental laws in building a border wall.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity argued the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act violates the separation of powers established by the Constitution.


The law, which Congress passed in 1996 to deter illegal crossings in high-activity border areas, grants the secretary of Homeland Security sweeping authority to waive all legal requirements inhibiting the expeditious construction of the border wall and restricts judicial review of such determinations.

The groups argued the border wall is within or in close proximity to the habitats of rare animal and plant species.

A district court judge in California sided with the government, finding no unconstitutional delegation of power. The groups then appealed to the Supreme Court.

The justices did not provide any explanation for why they refused to hear the appeal, as is customary. It takes four of the nine justices to agree to take a case.

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump's Facebook ban to stay in place, board rules Trump allies launching nonprofit focused on voter fraud DOJ asks for outside lawyer to review Giuliani evidence MORE has been fighting for a border wall since he took office. He has threatened to veto any spending bill that doesn’t include the $5 billion he’s demanded in funding for the project, raising the potential for a government shutdown this month.