Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, February 8, 2018

Contacts:  Laiken Jordahl, (928) 525-4433,
Mary K. Reinhart, (602) 320-7309,     

Federal Judge in San Diego to Hear Border Wall Challenge

Courthouse Rally Will Precede Friday Hearing in U.S. District Court

SAN DIEGOThe Center for Biological Diversity will present arguments Friday in its lawsuit against the Trump administration’s border wall and prototype projects near San Diego. A rally against the wall will precede the hearing.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is presiding over the case, which has been consolidated with similar challenges from the state of California and other conservation groups. Curiel will hear arguments from both sides during the proceeding and could issue his ruling at any time following the hearing.

“Trump can’t waive dozens of environmental laws, no matter how desperate he is to build a senseless border wall,” said Brian Segee, a senior attorney with the Center. “He’s not ruling over a kingdom. He can’t ignore the rules any more than America’s borderlands could shrug off the devastating effects of erecting this environmental disaster. We look forward to arguing the merits of this case.”

What: Federal court hearing challenging Trump’s border wall

Where: U.S. District Courthouse, 221 W. Broadway, Suite 2190, San Diego, CA

When: Friday, Feb. 9; gathering in front of the courthouse starts at noon; hearing begins at 1:30 p.m.

Media Availability: Attorneys and organizers will be available for media interviews outside the courthouse, before and after the hearing.

The Department of Homeland Security exempted itself from more than 30 laws to rush construction of border-wall replacement projects and prototypes south of San Diego. But the waiver authority, granted by Congress more than 10 years ago, no longer applies. The Center expanded its lawsuit in September to include this issue.

The border-wall replacement project would include 14 miles of new primary and secondary border fencing from the Pacific Ocean to Otay Mesa. This region of coastal San Diego County contains wetlands, streams and other rare wildlife habitats, as well as critical habitat for numerous endangered species, including the Quino checkerspot butterfly and coastal California gnatcatcher.

A recent study by the Center identified more than 90 endangered or threatened species that would be threatened by proposed wall construction along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations. The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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