A federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday dismissed a challenge to the Trump administration’s waiver of environmental laws in order to build a border wall between New Mexico and Mexico.
The Center for Biological Diversity and three other conservation groups argued that the waivers were “ultra vires” – that is, they went beyond the authority that Congress had given the Department of Homeland Security under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act - and that they violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine. U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson rejected the constitutional claim and ruled that Congress, in drafting IIRIRA, had clearly stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction over the ultra vires challenge.
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