Since before he was even elected president, Donald Trump has promised to prioritize the construction of a wall along the nation’s southern border as part of his immigration policy.
In a 5-4 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court this week, justices rejected a lawsuit that would have halted construction on the wall based on environmental concerns, as Fox News reported.
Multiple legal challenges
The complaint centered around a section of newly constructed wall to be funded by about $2.5 billion diverted from the U.S. Department of Defense.
According to the Daily Caller, the transfer of funds to the wall project had initially been challenged in court last year, with plaintiffs arguing that the move marked an unconstitutional bypass of Congress.
That case also made it to the Supreme Court, where justices overruled lower court decisions and upheld the diversion of funds as an emergency authorization, thus allowing the construction of a roughly 100-mile portion of the wall to commence.
Trump administration opponents did not give up, though, and a subsequent lawsuit made a case against the wall on environmental grounds.
As Fox News noted, plaintiffs in this case based their complaint on the assertion that the administration had not conducted all of the appropriate environmental-impact studies and that the new wall could have a detrimental impact on animals and the area’s ecosystem.
“A final judgment”
Again, the suit made its way up to the nation’s highest court, where it was also shot down by a majority of justices.
In a dissenting opinion authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, the liberal wing appeared to acknowledge that the argument over this issue might now be decided, as the Associated Press reported.
“The Court’s decision to let construction continue nevertheless I fear, may operate, in effect, as a final judgment,” he wrote.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows that about 92 miles of the disputed wall project has already been completed.
Though Trump has had reason to criticize some recent Supreme Court votes, this decision is yet another victory for his immigration plan. Based on this week’s development, the president is on track to continue making good on a central campaign promise.