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Supreme Court permits Trump administration to continue constructing border wall
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Supreme Court permits Trump administration to continue constructing border wall

The US Supreme Court Friday rejected a request to halt the Trump administration’s construction of the southern border wall while litigation on its construction is pending before the nation’s highest court.

In February 2019, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency concerning security along the southern border. Utilizing executive powers from the order, Trump allocated $2.5 billion from the defense budget to construct the barrier.

The Sierra Club immediately challenged the use of executive authority, but in July of 2019, the Supreme Court stated that the administration can continue to build the wall while lawsuits are pending in lower courts and stayed an earlier injunction against construction. This June, the Ninth Circuit found the appropriation was unlawful as Congress had not allocated the money.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition subsequently requested that the Supreme Court lift its 2019 stay. The groups contended that the stay functionally allows the administration to complete the inappropriately-funded wall while the Supreme Court considers hearing the case.

Friday’s order rejected the plaintiffs’ proposition, though it does not provide any reasoning for the determination. Justice Breyer dissented, saying: “The Court’s decision to let construction continue, nevertheless, I fear, may ‘operate, in effect, as a final judgment’.”