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US Supreme Court Rejects Environmentalists' Challenge to Border Fence

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a plea by environmentalists to stop the Bush administration from bypassing federal laws to speed construction of a fence along the border with Mexico.

The high court Monday, turned down the challenge to the Department of Homeland Security using authority granted to it by Congress in 2005 to waive certain environmental and land management laws to install the fencing.

The case involved a section of fence that was being built in a national conservation area - the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area - in Arizona.

Environmentalists feared the project would disrupt wildlife habitats. The Associated Press reports that section of the border fence has since been build.

Also today, the Supreme Court announced it will review a federal appeals court ruling that limits the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises off the coast of California. The Bush administration wants the ruling to be reviewed.

Defense officials have argued that the anti-submarine sonar technology is crucial to national security. Biologists have long said that sonar can disturb, injure or even kill marine mammals including dolphins and whales.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.