San Diego federal judge fails to make ruling over border wall lawsuit

Ruling could cause delays to wall's construction
Posted at 4:40 PM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 20:27:25-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's border wall failed to rule on the case Friday.

District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said he may issue a ruling on the case next week.

The lawsuit challenges the Trump Administration's efforts to waive environmental laws in order to build the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

RELATED: San Diego County feels the impact of the proposed U.S.-Mexico borderwall

The state of California and multiple groups have argued the administration is violating the Constitution and state laws by not "conducting any environmental review or complying with any environmental protection laws."

In court, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) slammed the administration's attempt to bypass the laws.

"The Trump administration can’t use an expired waiver to bypass crucial environmental protections to build these destructive projects," Brian Segee, a senior attorney at CBD, said. "It’s time to stop Trump’s hateful bombast and his executive overreach here in San Diego before it goes any further. The law and the Constitution are firmly on our side, and we think the judge will agree."

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The federal government, however, has said it can waive environmental laws for the wall, citing a 1996 immigration law.

Judge Curiel's ruling could cause significant delays in the wall's construction - which could prompt more fighting between the country's executive and judicial arms.

Curiel's Hispanic heritage was called in to question by President Trump two years ago, when the president claimed the judge may not be impartial.

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"We are building a wall. He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico," Trump told CNN's Jake Tapper in 2016.