A federal court rejected an environmental group’s lawsuit seeking to stop President Trump’s border wall from being built on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The lawsuit filed in a San Diego federal court alleged that Trump’s proposed wall violates federal environmental standards and constitutional provisions regarding California’s rights.
Notably, the ruling comes from Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, the same judge who Trump famously called biased during the 2016 campaign because of his Mexican heritage.
Curiel said his decision wasn’t based on whether building the wall was “politically wise or prudent,” rather whether the Trump administration had exceeded its authority to pursue the project.
“The court is aware that the subject of these lawsuits, border barriers, is currently the subject of heated political debate in and between the United States and the Republic of Mexico as to the need, efficacy and the source of funding for such barriers,” Curiel wrote in a 101-page ruling.
“It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
The Department of Justice released a statement praising the ruling.
“Border security is paramount to stemming the flow of illegal immigration that contributes to rising violent crime and to the drug crisis, and undermines national security,” DOJ spokesman Devin O’Malley said Tuesday. “Congress gave authority to the Department of Homeland Security to construct a border wall without delay to prevent illegal entry into the United States, and we are pleased DHS can continue this important work vital to our nation’s interests.”
Trump feuded with Curiel in 2016 over a pending lawsuit with Trump University, calling him a “hater” and saying he had an “inherent conflict of interest” because of his Mexican roots.
“I’m building a wall. I’m trying to keep business out of Mexico. Mexico’s fine,” Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “He’s of Mexican heritage, and he’s very proud of it, as I am of where I come from.”