A lawyer from Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP), which represented the Diocese of Brownsville in court, said in a statement to CNA that she had expected that the judge would rule in favor of the government.
"The Diocese was not surprised that the court today granted the government temporary access to the property on which the historic La Lomita chapel sits for the limited purpose of surveying, testing, and other investigatory work needed to plan the proposed border wall," said Mary McCord, the senior litigator at ICAP and the lead counsel for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.
Although the Diocese of Brownsville did not win in court on Wednesday, McCord thinks that if the border wall were to actually be built, they would have a much stronger case of how the government is violating their religious freedom. Wednesday's decision was "just the first step in our fight to protect the Rio Grande Valley Catholic community's right to free exercise of religious beliefs," she said.
"But, as the Diocese recognizes, the more substantial burden-which it believes will violate its right to religious exercise under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act-will come if and when the government seeks to take the property for the building of a wall cutting off La Lomita from those who worship there," said McCord in the statement.
Christine Rousselle is a former DC Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. Prior to working at CNA, she was the managing web editor of Townhall.com; she has a BA in political science from Providence College.