(CN) – The city and county of El Paso, Texas, were unable to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in their claim that the Department of Homeland Security unconstitutionally waived more than 30 federal laws to speed up the construction of a U.S.-Mexico border.
The justices on Monday declined to review the case without comment.
“We are disappointed but not surprised by this outcome,” El Paso County Attorney Jose Rodriguez said in a statement. “While we feel we had a strong case, competition for space on the Supreme Court’s crowded docket is high.”
In June 2008, the county and city, along with the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and others, sued the agency and government officials in federal court, claiming the waiver legislation amounted to an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.
“The April 3 waivers are unprecedented in scope,” the plaintiffs claimed, “setting aside more than three dozen federal statutes, as well as all related state, local, and tribal laws, to expedite the construction of fencing along nearly 500 miles of the border.”
U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo dismissed the case, saying Congress had “constitutionally delegated its authority in the Waiver Legislation.”
Declining El Paso’s appeal, the high court refused to disturb Montalvo’s ruling.