The liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stunned many this week and delivered a major victory to President Donald Trump in the battle for the border wall.
On Monday, the Court ruled in favor of the Trump administration in a case challenging its use of waivers to bypass environmental regulations to build parts of the wall along the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
The state of California and several environmental groups sued Trump and the Department of Homeland Security in September 2017 to block construction on the border wall in San Diego.
But in a surprising turn, the left-leaning Court has ruled for the Trump administration that it has the legal right to erect physical barriers.
“Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, the Secretary of the DHS has long had the authority ‘to install additional physical barriers and roads … in the vicinity of the United States border,’” the Court’s opinion states, quoting the IIRIRA.
Here’s more from The Daily Caller on the case:
The IIRIRA grants the secretary of the DHS “the authority to waive all legal requirements” as is “‘necessary to ensure expeditious construction’ of those barriers and roads,” according to the 9th Circuit.
The 9th Circuit’s three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the federal government. The dissenting judge, Consuelo Callahan, wrote she supported the Trump administration’s argument, but thought the court lacked jurisdiction to review California’s appeal.
The DHS waived provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act in 2017, expediting approval to begin construction of the border wall prototype and repairs.
The ruling is another legal victory for Trump in the case after U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled against California in February 2018. Curiel found “Congress delegated to its executive counterpart, the responsibility to construct border barriers as needed in areas of high illegal entry to detect and deter illegal entries.”
Trump accused Curiel of being biased against him in an earlier case involving Trump University. Curiel ruled against then-presidential candidate Trump on several points throughout the 2016.
“I think it has to do with perhaps the fact that I’m very, very strong on the border,” Trump told Fox News in February 2016. “Now, he is Hispanic, I believe. He is a very hostile judge to me.”
Trump eventually settled the case for $25 million.
The ruling came down around the same time as Republicans and Democrats reportedly reached a “deal in principle” to avert the government shutdown on Feb. 15.
As reported by I Love My Freedom:
The agreement reached tonight would include:
-$1.375b for border barriers (55 new miles of bollard fencing)
-Dems drop call for new cap on ICE beds for detentions in interior
-Overall cap on detention beds drops from 49,057 to 40,520
Lawmakers have apparently reached an agreement to avoid another government shutdown, but the details of the wall funding are still fuzzy.