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Why This Matters: With the border wall and President Trump’s immigration policy at the center of the political struggle between the Republicans and Democrats, the Supreme Court is stuck in the middle again. Justice Elena Kagan late last Friday gave the environmental groups a week to respond in writing to the Trump administration’s appeal. One of the Administration’s key arguments against the funding freeze is that environmental groups (as opposed to immigrants rights groups) do not have the legal right to bring these lawsuits — these groups and their members are not “harmed” by the wall. However, as we have explained in prior stories, the border wall is an environmental disaster, for example placing unnecessary risks on many endangered species whose movements would be blocked, not to mention recreational activities on the border that would be impeded by the wall. The Administration wants the wall constructions to move ahead even though it is not clear that they have the legal right to use the funds — that seems like putting the cart ahead of the horse to us.
But It’s An Emergency – or So They Say.
According to our friends at SCOTUSblog, the Trump Administration argued in its Supreme Court filing that the Sierra Club’s “interests in hiking, bird watching, and fishing in designated drug-smuggling corridors do not outweigh the harm to the public from halting the government’s efforts to construct barriers to stanch the flow of illegal narcotics across the southern border.” The government requested that the Supreme Court rule by July 26th on their request because the funds at issue will “expire” if they are not committed by the time the federal government’s fiscal year ends on September 30.
But Isn’t The Supreme Court In Recess?
Yes, the Supreme Court finished its work and is on hiatus until the first Monday in October. But when “emergencies” arise like this one, the Justices take turns making rulings like the one made by Justice Kagan in this case. This case arises from an appeal in the 9th Circuit (the West Coast) for which Justice Kagan has responsibility. It is interesting that this is the immigration case now before the Supreme Court — this time last week, it was the citizenship question on the Census that the Administration was battling.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Women have played an integral role in agriculture since its beginnings, but now only 14% of the world’s land is owned by women. Experts say that gender inequity is an obstacle in optimizing climate mitigation through better land-use practices.. Despite women representing more than half of all people who almost exclusively on land and […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Nearly 3 million acres of federal land could gain new protections after the House of Representatives passed a major conservation bill last Friday. The bill, called the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, rolls together eight bills previously introduced. If passed in the Senate, it would: Designate 1.5 […]
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