The Latest: Judge asserts right to rule on border wall
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit by the state of California and environmental advocacy groups that challenges President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico (all times local):
A judge who was berated by Donald Trump during the presidential campaign says he’s inclined to conclude he can decide a lawsuit that challenges the president’s proposed border wall but gave no indication how he’ll rule.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said during 2½ hours of arguments Friday in San Diego that he was leaning toward deciding he has jurisdiction in a lawsuit that alleges the Trump administration overreached in waiving laws that require environmental and other reviews. The administration argues he doesn’t have jurisdiction.
Curiel asked the administration and wall opponents to file additional briefings by the end of Tuesday. He said he would likely within days after that whether to dismiss the challenge by the state of California and environmental advocates or let it proceed.
An Indiana-born federal judge, whose Mexican heritage Donald Trump used to paint him as biased against him in a 2016 court case because of his immigration stance, will hear arguments in a lawsuit that could block construction of a border wall with Mexico.
The state of California and advocacy groups want Judge Gonzalo Curiel to rule that a border wall with Mexico must go through normal environmental reviews, which could block construction or at least cause major delays.
Curiel will hear arguments Friday in San Diego. The Trump administration wants him to dismiss the challenge, and wall opponents want him to immediately rule in their favor.
The challengers contend that authority to waive the environmental reviews under a 2005 law expired. California is joined by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.