Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, August 6, 2018

Contacts:  J.P. Rose, (408) 497-7675,
Mary K. Reinhart, (602) 320-7309,   

Federal Appeals Court in Pasadena to Hear Border Wall Challenge

Courthouse Rally Will Precede Tuesday Hearing

PASADENA, Calif.— A federal appeals court will hear an appeal Tuesday brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the state of California challenging a federal court decision allowing Trump’s border wall replacement project near San Diego to proceed. A rally against the wall will precede the hearing.

Attorneys are asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule that the Trump administration illegally waived dozens of laws to build replacement walls and prototypes south of San Diego. The appeal challenges the administration’s use of the long-expired waiver to sweep aside more than 30 laws that protect clean air, clean water, public lands and endangered wildlife.

“Trump is ignoring bedrock environmental protections and relying on a congressional waiver that expired years ago,” said Brian Segee, a senior attorney at the Center. “Borderland communities and wildlife deserve the same protections as everyone else in the country. We’re hopeful that the court will put an end to this lawlessness and executive overreach.”

What:  9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court hearing challenging Trump’s border wall

When: Tuesday, Aug. 7: Rally in front of the courthouse at 8:15 a.m.; hearing begins at 9 a.m.

Where: U.S. Court of Appeals, 125 S. Grand Ave., Pasadena, CA

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 sued the Trump administration last year and a U.S. District Court judge heard arguments on the matter in February. In March the judge ruled against the Center, the state of California and other conservation groups. This appeal challenges the ruling.

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 2017 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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