Supreme Court refuses to block construction of Obama library in Chicago

  • The Supreme Court denied an advocacy group's request 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, denied the petition for an injunction without referring the case to the full nine-member court.
  • The Chicago-based nonprofit Protect Our Parks, along with a group of local residents, argued the proposed presidential library would cause "serious environmental impacts" to Jackson Park on the south side of the city.

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 that part of the country, denied the petition for an injunction without referring the case to the full nine-member court.

The Chicago-based nonprofit Protect Our Parks, along with a group of local residents, argued the proposed presidential library would cause "serious environmental impacts" to Jackson Park on the south side of the city.

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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.

The applicants 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, which is reported to cost approximately $700 million.

Barrett's denial was not accompanied by any text or explanation.

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