Border fence challenge rebuffed by Supreme Court
The court's action clears the way for U.S. officials to press ahead with the project with little worry that judges will be able to stop it, writes the L.A. Times' David G. Savage.
Three years ago, Congress gave Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff an unusual power to "waive all legal requirements" that could stand in the way of building the fence. These requirements included the nation's environmental protection laws. The same congressional action took away the authority of judges to review Chertoff's decisions.
The high court's refusal is not a ruling, and it doesn't mean the justices won't reconsider the issue. But for now, Chertoff and his department have the go-ahead to proceed with the fence. Nearly half the barrier has been built.
Environmentalists are not the only activists campaigning to stop the border fence project. American citizens, whose properties and homes are being sliced up by the project, are also up in arms.
Photo: A U.S. Border Patrol truck drives along a new section of road built by members of the 200th Red Horse Air National Guard Civil Engineering Squadron from Camp Perry in Ohio and other National Guard units in front of a five mile section of new border fencing at the border in Nogales, Ariz. Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press
-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City