Order 5-4 is a loss for environmental groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had asked the justifiers to lift an order a year ago that would allow the government to continue building the wall pending filing of appeals. It is a triumph for Trump, who has made the construction of the wall a cornerstone of his presidency.
Portions of the wall in question are in Arizona, New Mexico, and California.
Judge Stephen Breyer, who was dismissed by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Breyer noted that by the time the court reaches the case on merit, the part of the wall could already be complete.
“However, I fear the Court’s decision to let construction continue, as a final judgment,” Breyer wrote.
The dispute addresses the ACLU̵7;s challenge to use the Pentagon’s $ 2.5 billion to build parts of the wall along the southwestern border. Last month, a federal appellate court ruled against Trump, arguing that the administration does not have the authority to divert funds from the Pentagon to build additional barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional authorization. But the opinion had no immediate effect due to last year’s Supreme Court order still in force.
“The Trump administration has lost all lower courts, but it is still rushing to complete the president’s border wall before the Supreme Court can review the merits of this case,” said Dror Ladin, a staff lawyer for the ACLU national security project in a statement before the order was issued.
He said if the Supreme Court did not lift his own stay, the wall would be built by the time the court decides whether to take over the case.
Justice Department lawyers urged the receipts to leave their stay in place, although the government plans to ask the Supreme Court to start the case in early August. This timeline would mean judges could decide in early fall if they would hear the dispute.
“As the government explained earlier, stopping the construction process during litigation imposes significant costs on DoD, which may force it to reimburse its contractors for additional costs that are delayed in such cases,” the government lawyers.