Latest lawsuit against Obama Center rejected

Protect Our Parks sued in 2021, arguing that federal agencies failed in reviewing how the center would affect the surrounding environment.

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A rendering of the planned Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be built in Chicago’s Jackson Park.

A rendering of the planned Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be built in Chicago’s Jackson Park.

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The federal judge who has overseen a yearslong court battle over the Obama Presidential Center in historic Jackson Park ruled Thursday against activists who sought to block its construction, formally ending their latest lawsuit at the district-court level.

U.S. District Judge John Blakey in 2019 tossed an earlier lawsuit brought by Protect Our Parks that threatened to stop the Obama Center. The group followed up with another lawsuit in 2021, arguing that federal agencies failed in reviewing how the center would affect the surrounding environment. Blakey refused to grant them a preliminary injunction in August 2021.

Now, Blakey has formally terminated the case in his court. He referred back to his August 2021 ruling, which he said found that the activists had “failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits.”

The judge wrote Thursday that “no genuine disputes of material fact exist” on the remaining counts in the case, and others had previously been dismissed.

The case may continue at the appellate level, records suggest.

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the Obama Center took place in September 2021.

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