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16 U. Balt. J. Envtl. L. 91 (2008-2009)
Defenders of Wildlife v. Chertoff: The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Held that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security's Waiver of Environmental Law was Constitutional

handle is hein.journals/ubenv16 and id is 97 raw text is: DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE V. CHERTOFF: THE U.S.
DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
HELD THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY'S
WAIVER OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS
WAS CONSTITUTIONAL
I. INTRODUCTION
In Defenders of Wildlife v. Chertoff' the U.S. District Court for the Dis-
trict of Columbia granted the Defendant's renewed motion to dismiss,
holding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not act
in violation of the U.S. Constitution.2 The Defenders of Wildlife' and
the Sierra Club challenged DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff when he
used the authority delegated to him in the REAL ID Act of 2005' to
waive numerous environmental statutes in order to build a fence
along the United States-Mexico border.5 The court rejected the De-
fenders of Wildlife's constitutional attack,6 finding that Secretary
Chertoffs waiver of the environmental laws did not infringe upon the
separation of powers or violate the nondelegation doctrine.7
II. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
On or about September 29, 2007,s DHS instructed the Army Corps
of Engineers to build a border fence within the San Pedro Riparian
National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) for the purpose of keeping
immigrants from illegally entering the United States.9 The Defenders
of Wildlife describes the SPRNCA as a unique and invaluable envi-
ronmental resource' and 'one of the most biologically diverse areas
of the United States.1 The Defenders of Wildlife was concerned that
1. 527 F. Supp. 2d 119 (D.D.C. 2007).
2. Id. at 129.
3. The Defenders of Wildlife is an organization whose primary goal is to pro-
tect species and the habitats upon which they depend. Defenders of Wild-
life Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.defenders.org/about-us/
faqs/index.php.
4. REAL ID Act, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1103 (West 1996) (See Historical and Statutory
Notes Improvement of Barriers at Border) (hereinafter REAL ID Act).
5. Defenders of Wildlife, 527 F. Supp. 2d at 120.
6. Id. at 121.
7. Id.
8. Id.
9. Id.
10. Defenders of Wildlife, 527 F. Supp. 2d 119.
11. Id.

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