Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected a last-ditch attempt by a Chicago group to stop construction of Obama Presidential Center, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Barrett, who has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, turned down without comment an emergency request filed Monday — the day construction started on the center.
According to news site Block Club Chicago.org, the advocacy group Protect Our Parks sued the city, the Obama Foundation, and federal officials in April, saying reviews of site plans did not follow regulations.
The reviews also failed to consider ways to avoid "adverse effects" to Jackson Park, like overhauling the park’s historical design and removing mature trees — which could be done by locating the Obama Center elsewhere, Protect Our Parks argued.
Judge John Robert Blakey also denied the advocacy group’s request to halt construction, the news organization reported. A federal appeals court also declined to stop the center’s construction, paving the way for Monday’s groundbreaking.
The Obama Center is set for completion in 2025, nine years after officials announced their intention to build in Jackson Park.
The center’s construction is estimated to cost $700 million — $200 million more than previous estimates, Block Club Chicago reported.
Protect Our Parks has long opposed construction of the library in Jackson Park and has instead promoted a proposal to put the center in Washington Park a few miles away.
"The current plans call for seizing acres of mature parkland in one of America’s most precious public landscapes, Frederick Law Olmsted’s Jackson Park," Protect Our Parks stated. "This shocking development is clearly a continuation of an engrained Urban Renewal mentality, where public and private property are taken without sufficient care for existing residents, and bulldozed unceremoniously without concern for historic context.
"This, and the disinterested, destructive, disaffecting processes by which it is engendered, have a proven track record of failure as they relate to both community stabilization and institutional longevity," the group continued. "For, what fool cares to invest his savings in the future of a community without permanence or predictability, where political whim can wipe away a life’s memories in seconds, where public assets are discreetly handed to wealthy, private institutions for as little as ten dollars?"
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