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Episode 4: The Border Wall, the Environment, and the President’s Powers: Sierra Club v. President Trump

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On June 20, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Sierra Club v Trump. The President is challenging the Federal District Court's issuance of a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop the President from using military funds to build the southern border wall. The case explores President Trump's authority to divert funds toward the border wall pursuant to the President's National Emergency Declaration and other statutory authority, contrary to Congress's express will.

This episode's guest, VLS Professor John Echeverria, discusses Sierra Club v Trump in terms of the separation of powers, appropriations, and the President's authority under the National Emergency Declaration and other statutes invoked to fund the border wall. Hosts, Jeannie and Mason also tackle the environmental issues surrounding this case.

How is this an environmental issue and why is the Sierra Club involved in this case? Why aren't NEPA and other environmental protection statutes being applied to the border wall construction? What will be the fallout of this decision?



Recommended Resources

Professor John Echeverria's Hot Topic Lecture
United States District Court, Northern District of California Decision
Court of Appeals Filings
United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit Oral Arguments