By Dan Levine

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Tuesday sided with President Donald Trump's administration and rejected an attempt by the state of California and environmental groups to stop the government from building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

 

The lawsuit filed in a San Diego federal court alleged that Trump's proposed wall violates federal environmental standards, as well as constitutional provisions regarding the separation of powers and states' rights.

 

The plaintiffs asked U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel to stop the administration from building the wall until it demonstrates compliance with environmental laws.

 

In a ruling on Tuesday, Curiel said his decision was not based on whether the underlying decisions to construct the wall "are politically wise or prudent."

 

Rather, Curiel said the Trump administration had not exceeded its legal authority in pursuing the project.

Representatives for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra could not immediately be reached for comment.

Trump accused Curiel of bias during the 2016 presidential campaign based on the Indiana-born judge's Mexican ancestry. At the time, Curiel had been overseeing a separate lawsuit involving Trump University.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by James Dalgleish)