Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Law360 (August 24, 2020, 10:13 PM EDT) -- The federal government has urged a California federal court to reject a bid by the La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians to halt construction of President Donald Trump's border wall, saying the tribe's concerns that the project threatens its ancestral burial grounds don't carry any more weight than environmental groups' objections.
The federally recognized tribe asked the court Aug. 14 for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on construction of 21 miles of wall along the U.S-Mexico border in Southern California, arguing that the project is being funded without the authorization of Congress and violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, by desecrating ancestral burial grounds and sacred sites.
In an opposition filed Friday, the Trump administration said the U.S. Supreme Court last year rejected similar arguments to the tribe's when it stayed a California federal judge's injunction on using $2.5 billion in defense funds to construct a wall on the southern border that had been granted to the Sierra Club and other environmental groups.
The case is La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the La Posta Reservation et al. v. Donald J. Trump et al., case number 3:20-cv-01552, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.