Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court justice nominated by former President Trump and confirmed in 2020, denied a petition to stop construction of an Obama Foundation museum and library in Chicago, Fox News reported.
The advocacy group Protect Our Parks, and other plaintiffs had sought to stop the construction of the Obama presidential library in Chicago’s Jackson Park this week, citing that it would be detrimental to the local environment.
Barrett is the Supreme Court justice in charge of handling Illinois emergency matters and could have either acted on the petition or referred it to other justices.
However, the court’s website indicated Friday, Aug. 20, that the judge rejected the offer.
Protect Our Parks claimed that the construction of the massive property circumvented a federally required review process on its environmental impact and said the project should be built in Washington Park, which is a few miles away.
The environmental group explained that in building the complex, they would have to demolish significant parts of Jackson Park, green areas and trees, etc., which will affect the historic landscape and wildlife at the site, which is why they seek to pursue the complaint.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is disappointing, but not surprising. We still believe that preserving the status quo is fundamental to preventing irreparable harm in Jackson Park,” the petitioners’ co-counsel Michael Rachlis said in a statement, the Hill reported Friday.
“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.”
Site work has already begun. Excavation at the Obama Presidential Center began Monday and is scheduled to clear trees on September 1 to move forward with construction.
According to reports, the center will feature a museum, a library, gardens, and a children’s playground.
A spokesperson for the Obama Foundation told Fox News on Friday that they are grateful for the courts’ support for moving forward with the project, “We greatly appreciate the continued support of our project and process by the courts, including now from the highest court in the land.”
Judge Barrett has recently come under fire for refusing to block an Indiana University plan to require students and employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Barrett’s action came in response to an emergency request from eight students and marked the first time the high court has intervened in a mandatory vaccination mandate.
As the court’s newest judge, Barrett handles emergency matters for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, including Indiana.