U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is set to hear arguments Friday from the state of California and environmental groups opposed to a part of President Trump's border wall because it would endanger a species of butterfly and a Mexican shrub.
In case you're curious, it is the Quino checkerspot butterfly and the Mexican flannel bush.
Yet, the Homeland Security Department says it has authority to circumvent environmental reviews in this instance in the name of border security. Fourteen miles of the current fencing near San Diego is “no longer optimal for border patrol operations,” the department insists.
This case will be especially interesting because Trump and Curiel have some history. During the 2016 election, Curiel presided over a Trump University case in which several students sued over what they claimed was false advertising. Then-candidate Trump called Curiel a "hater" and suggested his Mexican heritage made him biased.
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