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The Supreme Court’s recent decision that allows construction of the border wall to continue was a huge win for President Trump and his supporters. Beyond what it means in the short term, the decision revealed something that the mainstream media will never report: for all its energy and bravado, the left’s vaunted efforts to block Trump’s construction of the border wall have largely been a failure.
President Trump’s election victory in November 2016 was a political tsunami that sent the Washington establishment and the radical left into a state of shock. Since then, they have directed all their considerable resources to delaying or destroying Trump’s agenda. High on the list of targeted agenda items was “Build that wall,” the signature immigration proposal of Trump’s campaign.
The Nancy Pelosi-led opposition in Congress was the first wave of attack, opposing all White House efforts to earmark funding for wall construction. After a 35-day partial government shutdown over the funding, Trump reached a deal that included only a paltry sum for the wall. But he then declared a national emergency at the border, which enabled him to re-allocate $2.5 billion from the Pentagon budget to wall construction. At this point, the political battle became a legal one.
The anti-wall legal forces employed their time-tested strategy: shop the nation for the most left-leaning lower courts to get favorable decisions. These provide low-hanging fruit, as the activists can get consistent results from courts like the notoriously liberal Ninth Circuit.
These tactics were meant to delay the wall for years, with construction blocked as meritless preliminary injunctions wound their way through the appeals system. While such delaying tactics might usually work, this time they hit a snag. The 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court ruled in July of last year to suspend the injunctions, allowing wall construction to go on until the Supreme Court finally decides the issue. The recent decision in Trump v. Sierra Club continued that suspension, prompting Justice Stephen Breyer to lament in his dissent that the decision “may operate, in effect, as a final judgment.”
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