Friday, August 14, 2020
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U.S. Supreme Court declines to block Trump border wall construction

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs for a trip to Florida from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 31, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined a request from two groups seeking to prevent construction of President Donald Trump’s promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that is being funded by $2.5 billion approved by Congress for the Pentagon.

The court in a brief order rejected on a 5-4 vote the request by the groups, the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition. The vote was on ideological lines, with five conservatives in the majority and four liberals in dissent.

The court last July had previously allowed the funds to be allocated, granting an emergency request filed by the Trump administration.

The administration has since committed the money to constructing fences, roads and lighting at locations along the border identified as drug-smuggling corridors, the government said in court papers. The two groups wanted the justices to prevent the construction from being completed before the litigation is finished and the case becomes moot.

Sierra Club is an environmental group. The Southern Border Communities Coalition advocates for people living in border areas. The groups said in court papers that circumstances had changed since the court’s earlier ruling.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; editing by Grant McCool

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