Legal experts predict Supreme Court will vindicate Texas in border battle with Biden

 February 2, 2024

Legal experts predict that the Supreme Court will ultimately side with Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) in his dispute with Joe Biden over the southern border, despite a temporary ruling in favor of the Biden administration. 

The Supreme Court issued a divided 5-4 ruling in January that permitted Biden to continue cutting razor wire that Abbott put up to deter illegal border crossings.

The decision frustrated many conservatives, but legal observers predict the court could rule differently when the issue is litigated in full.

Border battle isn't over...

The ruling last month was on an emergency request from Texas to block the federal government, but the legal substance has yet to be reviewed.

Four of the conservative justices already agree with Abbott, said liberal lawyer Lisa Needham, emphasizing the preliminary nature of last month's decision.

"The full case still needs to make its way through the lower courts, and it is almost inevitable that it will then be back," she said.

Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts sided with Biden last time, but that may change.

Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, noted that the court's conservative majority has shown a willingness to overturn precedent.

"The previous ruling was limited to whether Texas can prevent Border Patrol agents from removing or cutting the barbed wire. There are potentially bigger issues at play here though, and the conservative justices haven't been shy to craft broad rulings to reverse years of precedent."

Constitutional crisis brews

Abbott has accused Biden of violating the Constitution with his failure to enforce federal immigration law - leaving Texas with no alternative but to defend its borders.

“The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States," Abbott said. "The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, including immigration laws on the books right now."

25 states with Republican governors have rallied to Abbott's defense, prompting many to describe the conflict as a dangerous constitutional crisis.

Some Democrats have urged Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard; Abbott has said he is "prepared" to respond if that happens. 

Abbott has continued to put up razor wire, an action which has wrongly been characterized as contrary to the Supreme Court's decision, which simply said Biden can remove the fencing.

In addition to the razor wire, Abbott has been blocking Border Patrol from a public park in Eagle Pass, which has become a major hotspot for illegal crossings.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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