Supreme Court docket refuses to dam building of Obama library in Chicago
U.S. President Barack Obama waves after he spoke during the SelectUSA Investment Summit March 23, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland.
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The Supreme Court on Friday shot down an advocacy group’s push to temporarily halt construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in a Chicago park.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett, an appointee of former President Donald Trump who is assigned to handle matters from the Midwest, denied the petition for an injunction without referring the case to the full nine-member court.
The Chicago-based nonprofit Protect Our Parks and some residents argued that the $700 million library would cause “serious environmental impacts” to Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side.
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They said in the petition that the “wanton act” will lead to the destruction of at least 800 trees, and that it will “have a significant impact on migratory birds and their nesting practices” and lead to more “dust, noise, and a decline in air quality, compromising public health in the surrounding community.”
“Once those trees are cut down, there is no turning back,” the group said.
They also complained that the government skirted required regulatory reviews and illegally split the project in two to avoid considering alternative locations to the park.
“Throughout all public hearings, the governmental agencies stonewalled anyone seeking to have them address questions of avoidance and minimization,” the petition alleged.
They asked Barrett directly to freeze “further groundbreaking construction and excavation activities” and “tree cutting” in the park pending an appeal of a lower court rejection last week.
Their emergency application requested a response by Monday, when construction was set to begin on the presidential center.
Barrett’s denial was not accompanied by any text or explanation.