DOJ Hiring Lawyers to Handle Border Wall Cases

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The Justice Department placed an online job posting for two attorneys to handle border wall litigation in South Texas. It was a sign of coming property seizures and other legal controversies that President Trump anticipates as he plows ahead with his signature project, Politico reports. Trump has demanded that Congress provide $5.7 billion to build more than 200 miles of new and replacement barriers along the border. Those efforts will run into opposition from local landowners, environmentalists and Native American tribes. The federal government has been partially shut down 27 days over Trump’s billion border wall request, but the administration faces lawsuits from border residents who have resisted wall construction. High-profile cases in Texas involve a butterfly sanctuary and the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, which owns property with a small chapel in the path of planned wall construction.

The two advertised legal jobs will pay between $53,062 and $138,790. The attorneys likely will deal with eminent domain property seizures and quarrels with landowners over what their land is worth, says the American Civil Liberties Union’s Chris Rickerd. If property owners fight back, cases can last more than a decade, but the law tilts heavily in favor of the government. Congress passed a spending bill last year that gave $1.4 billion to construct an estimated 84 miles of new and replacement barriers.

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