Former President Barack Obama has suffered a humiliating defeat in court regarding his presidential library in his hometown.
A federal judge has ruled in favor a group of concerned citizens suing the Obama library for carrying out what they have called a “power grab.”
The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, the former president’s hometown, is being challenged as nothing more than a giant land grab attempt.
The multi-million dollar project is scheduled to be completed in 2021 and aims to take a major chunk of downtown Chicago to give the Obama family a massive center.
As reported by The Chicago Tribune, the judge’s ruling is a major setback on plans to build the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side lakefront.
In a written decision, U.S. Judge John Robert Blakey said the environmental group Protect Our Parks has enough legal ground to bring some of their objections before him. Blakey did toss out parts of the lawsuit filed against the city of Chicago and the park district.
The ruling to allow the suit to proceed is significant because it could delay construction for months, if not years, and potentially raise the question of whether the $500 million sprawling presidential campus can be built at all on lakefront property in Jackson Park.
The key issue of the lawsuit is over whether Chicago has legal standing to issue construction permits so that Obama’s team can build the presidential center on public park property.
If the presidential center is created, it would tear down a major chunk of a historic park in downtown Chicago that has been there for decades.
The matter has been closely watched because it is reminiscent of the court case that killed the $400 million museum proposed by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas. In that case, Lucas and his team didn’t wait for a judgment, and decided to move his Museum of Narrative Art to Los Angeles.
The lawsuit challenging the presidential center was filed in May by the leaders of Protect Our Parks and three other plaintiffs. In their suit, the environmentalists called the presidential center an “institutional bait-and-switch.” The Obama Foundation isn’t named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Instead, the lawsuit targets the city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District, arguing that the presidential center is not the same as a presidential library and should not be granted access to public land.
The foundation has said it wants to break ground this year, but with the lingering issues, there is no concrete date set. The foundation has not revealed if it has a design prepared for another location.
The ruling is a big win for those who are sick and tired of the courts giving Obama a huge pass and allowing him to get away with everything he wants to do.