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Update on CalWild’s border wall case

Update on CalWild’s border wall case 1024 663 California Wilderness Coalition

There has been a lot happening related to the border wall and CalWild’s litigation to stop it. There are numerous cases against President Trump’s emergency declaration and the misallocation of funds to build a border wall. These cases are related, but in different courts and moving along slightly different tracks.

There are two cases in federal court in California – one filed by the ACLU on behalf of Sierra Club and one filed by the State of California on behalf of 20 states. Not long after CalWild filed its complaint, the Trump administration announced that four specific segments of wall were going to be constructed using the funding authorities that the administration identified at the time of the emergency declaration. These sections are in El Centro, CA, Yuma, AZ, Tuscon, AZ, and El Paso, TX. Both Sierra Club and the States asked the court in California for a preliminary injunction to stop the government from proceeding with construction before the lawsuits are resolved. Sierra Club won an injunction prohibiting the government from proceeding with the Yuma and El Paso projects (the government agreed not to proceed with the El Centro and Tuscon projects for at least 45 days and so they were not included in the injunction.) The government has appealed the injunction and the Ninth Circuit recently heard those arguments.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives filed its own lawsuit challenging President Trump’s misallocation of funds for the border wall. Like Sierra Club and the States, the House moved for a preliminary injunction but that judge denied the motion, holding that the court doesn’t have jurisdiction to resolve a political dispute between the Executive and the Legislature. This was quite a surprise and the House is likely to appeal.

Things have also progressed with CalWild’s case. The government recently filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that we don’t have standing to bring the lawsuit, that the suit raises political questions that the courts aren’t able to resolve, and that our legal claims lack merit. We will keep you updated on the outcome.

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