The Latest: Environmental group to appeal border wall ruling
Feb. 27, 2018
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on a federal judge's ruling rejecting a challenge to President Donald Trump's plans for a border wall with Mexico. (all times local):
An environmental advocacy group says it will appeal a federal court ruling in San Diego that allows the Trump administration to expedite construction of a border wall with Mexico.
The Center for Biological Diversity says the ruling Tuesday upholding the administration's right to waive environmental reviews to build border barriers is unconstitutional and shouldn't be allowed to stand.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who joined the challenge, said he was evaluating options. He says he believes the administration is ignoring the law.
Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley says the administration is pleased it can continue building the wall without delay.
A federal judge in San Diego who was taunted by Donald Trump during the presidential campaign has sided with the president on a challenge to building a border wall with Mexico.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel on Tuesday rejected arguments by the state of California and advocacy groups that the administration overreached by waiving laws requiring environmental and other reviews before construction could begin.
The challengers said a law that gave the Homeland Security secretary authority to waive the reviews had expired.
The ruling removes a potentially big obstacle for one of Trump signature campaign pledges. Environmental reviews are subject to legal challenges that can significantly delay or block construction.
Trump berated Curiel during the campaign for his handling of fraud allegations against now-defunct Trump University, suggesting the Indiana-born judge's Mexican heritage reflected a bias.