The U.S. Supreme Court sent a big message on Monday and declined to take a case that south to challenge the legality of President Donald Trump’s border wall.
The plaintiffs in the case argued that the Trump administration violated the U.S. Constitution when it exempted border barrier projects from environmental regulations.
The plaintiffs claimed it would have a negative effect to local ecosystems to construct a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
“It’s disappointing that the Supreme Court won’t consider this important constitutional issue,” Brian Segee, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), told The Daily Caller.
“Trump has abused his power to wreak havoc along the border to score political points. 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 continued.
A 1996 federal law allows the attorney general, and Department of Homeland Security after it was created in 2002, to construct barriers along the border to combat illegal aliens and immigration.
The law also gives the DHS secretary the legal authority to bypass environmental laws with regards to border projects.
The advocacy groups filed a lawsuit after the Trump administration issued two waivers under the 1996 law to erect parts of the border wall in southern California.
The groups argued that the Supreme Court should take up the case because the waivers violated the constitutional separation of powers.
They were partly arguing that Trump didn’t have the legal authority to bypass environmental laws in order to construct parts of the border wall.
“[The 1996 law] effectively allows an unelected cabinet secretary to repeal existing laws, and then shields the repeals from judicial review,” part of CBD’s petition to the Supreme Court stated.
The petition called on the Justices to decrease the “extraordinary conferral of waiver authority that fundamentally distorts the allocation of power in our tripartite system of government.”
The group appealed the case to the Supreme Court after U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel sided with the federal government and ruled that the Trump administration could legally use the 1996 law with regards to border barriers.
Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke — who lost his Senate race earlier this month to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, and is likely eyeing a 2020 run — is one of the signatories to an amicus brief that urged the High Court to take on the case.
Last week, Trump said funding for the border wall is a top priority during the lame duck Congress and that he would support shutting down the government if the funds are not appropriated.
“We need border security in this country, and if that means a shutdown I would totally be willing to shut it down,” Trump said. “And I think it’s a really bad issue for the Democrats.”