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U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear El Paso County case against border fence

Story from the Associated Press.

Statement from the office of El Paso County Attorney Jose Rodriguez:


County Attorney José R. Rodríguez announced today that he was notified this morning that El Paso County’s appeal to the United States Supreme Court in its border fence case against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was denied.

El Paso County Attorney expressed his disappointment with the decision. “We are disappointed but not surprised by this outcome. While we feel that we had a strong case, competition for space on the Supreme Court’s crowded docket is high,” Rodríguez said.

“This decision now ends our pursuit of this case. El Paso County would very much like to thank Mayer Brown LLP of Washington, D.C., for their defense and support in this case. Mayer Brown litigated this case without any cost to the county,” said Rodríguez.

Although the appeal was rejected, Rodriguez expressed optimism that the Obama Administration has demonstrated a willingness to consult with local communities on the fence and other border security policies.

The lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security was filed on June 23, 2008 by El Paso County, the City of El Paso, the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, among others. The lawsuit challenged Secretary Chertoff’s statutory authority to issue a waiver of more than 30 federal, state, and local laws to accelerate the construction of a border fence in El Paso County. The County contended that the Congressional waiver of authority, without the opportunity for judicial review, was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power and moreover, that it was insufficient to permit the Secretary to declare pre-empted every state and local law related to the waived federal statues.

On September 11th, 2008 a Federal District Judge of the Western District of Texas granted the Department of Homeland Security’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit based on the merits of the case.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo held that the waivers used by the Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to expedite the construction of the border fence were constitutional because “…Congress constitutionally delegated its authority in the Waiver Legislation.”

Judge Montalvo further ruled that the Waiver legislation did not violate the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution because the waivers were issued with the intent to “preempt state and local laws, which would interfere with Congress’s objective to expeditiously construct the border fence.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 15, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. What a waste of our tax money and the time expended by our civil servants to bring this legal action to stop a fence on our national border. There are no excuses for stopping our border security measures. There are 10,000,000 reasons why these border security measures are an imperative for our country. The concerns of having 10,000,000 illegal imigrants in our country and having a border that could be crossed virtually at will by anyone so inclined are serious both from a national security and economic security perspective. Only politions supported by big businesses are against immediate border security.


    June 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

  2. What a waste of our tax dollars fighting the fence that Congress approved and paid for. So this is why our property taxes have gone up. El Paso government thinking with just half a brain. I am disgusted that MY property taxes are wasted like this. Those who wasted my very hard earned tax dollars will roast in hell. My property taxes are now HIGHER per month than my original mortgage payment!


    June 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm

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