Justice Barrett declines to take up appeal to halt construction of Obama’s presidential library

Most conservatives were extremely pleased when former President Donald Trump nominated Justice Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the bench of the United States Supreme Court.

Yet, as the Washington Examiner reported, Barrett issued a ruling this week concerning former President Obama’s presidential library that will likely leave some conservatives shaking their heads. 

What’s going on?

As the Examiner noted, Barrett signaled that the high court would refuse to hear objections to a planned library honoring former President Barack Obama.

The facility is to be built by the Obama Foundation on Chicago’s Southside and it will include outdoor parks in addition to the library structure itself.

“The Obama Presidential Center represents a historic opportunity to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady on the South Side of Chicago,” the organization’s website explains.

Environmental concerns?

In response, a group of plaintiffs argued that the project was being constructed in a piecemeal fashion so that the entire undertaking would be subject to a less rigorous standard of environmental review — reviews that often sideline major projects across the country.

Among the complainants is a non-profit group called Protect Our Parks. The group firmly objects to using Chicago’s Jackson Park as the location for Obama’s new presidential library.

“There is a lot of open land all over the south side of Chicago where the Obama Presidential Center could be located that is outside of a public park,” Protect Our Parks claims on its website.

The group alleges that building the library will “demolish significant parts of Jackson Park, its historical resources, parkland, and trees, which will, in turn, adversely affect the human environment, the historic landscape, wildlife, and migratory birds.”

Barrett denies injunction

Representatives from Protect Our Parks suggested an alternative location near Washington Park that it says would be “more easily accessible by foot, public transit and automobile.” However, the Supreme Court’s website indicated that Justice Barrett opted to deny an application for injunctive relief.

“We still believe that preserving the status quo is fundamental to preventing irreparable harm in Jackson Park,” Protect Our Parks said in a statement, according to NBC News.

“Nonetheless, our core arguments seek to protect the long-term environmental and historical resources in Jackson Park, and we look forward to presenting our evidence and these arguments in the appellate and district court in the coming weeks,” the group’s statement added.

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