Federal Contracting News

Border Wall Litigation Delayed by Border Wall Shutdown (1)

Jan. 25, 2019, 4:13 PMUpdated: Jan. 25, 2019, 5:38 PM

A suit seeking the release of documents related to President Trump’s promised U.S.-Mexico border will be delayed following a federal court’s Jan. 25 order.

Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia sided with government attorneys on their motion to stay, according to Bloomberg Law dockets.

Due to the partial government shutdown, Justice Department attorneys are prohibited from working except in emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property, they told the court.

Plaintiff Center for Investigative Reporting opposed a delay. The Executive Branch is blocking the public disclosure of critical information by making the request, it said.

The litigation should proceed because the President stated he is contemplating using emergency military executive authority to seize private property under eminent domain to build a wall without Congressional appropriations, CIR argued.

CIR pursued this Freedom of Information Act case after U.S. Customs and Border Protection blocked the release of information related to two contract solicitations to provide concrete and non-concrete wall prototypes.

The requested documents include proposal submissions, prototype presentations, mockup results, site conditions information, and agency-approved design standards.

The Ctr. for Investigative Reporting v. U.S. Customs & Border Protection, D.D.C., No. 18-cv-2901, motion for stay 1/24/19.

(Updated to reflect the judge's Jan. 25 order.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Seiden in Washington at dseiden@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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