High Court Won't Hear Challenge to Border Fence

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2009 2:47 PM CDT
The fence, in San Diego.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to the completion of the border fence between the US and Mexico, Fox News reports. Environmental groups, an Indian tribe, and the city of El Paso brought the challenge, contending that a fence will cut off access to the Rio Grande for religious, cultural, and municipal purposes. The Obama administration had encouraged the court to reject the case.

The petitioners also objected to the fence because its authorization, under then-Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, required Congress to waive federal, state, and local laws applying to the agency. “If allowed to stand,” the petitioners’ brief stated, the “order would constitute an unprecedented expansion of agency authority to preempt state and local law without clear congressional authority and without any oversight by any court.”