Republicans Push Greg Abbott to Defy Supreme Court Border Ruling

Greg Abbott Support

House Speaker Mike Johnson has thrown his support behind Greg Abbott as the Texas governor continues to defy the Biden administration following a Supreme Court ruling granting the federal government authority to remove swaths of razor wire installed at the southern border by the state. 

On Monday, the conservative-controlled court determined in a 5-4 ruling that the Biden administration can remove concertina wire Texas installed at various points of their border with Mexico. The coils of wire have been linked to slews of injuries of undocumented migrants. 

In response to the ruling, Abbott — who for months now has been escalating his feud with the Biden administration over border security — issued a statement on Wednesday declaring that “the federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States.” 

“I have already declared an invasion under Article I, $ 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary,” Abbott wrote. 

Johnson (R-La.) publicly backed Abbott late Wednesday night, writing on X (formerly Twitter) that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives “will do everything in its power to back him up.” The Speaker’s endorsement follows declarations from the Republican governors of several other states and lawmakers in Congress who also threw their support behind Abbott. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R), Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R), Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R), and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R), all publicly backed Abbot in statements released on social media.

“This opinion is unconscionable and Texas should ignore it on behalf of the [Border Patrol Union] agents who will be put in a worse position by the opinion and the Biden administration’s policies,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) wrote on X Tuesday night. 

“My thoughts are that the feds are staging a civil war, and Texas should stand their ground,” added Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) 

“The next step: holding Secretary Mayorkas accountable,”Speaker Johnson added, referencing House Republicans’ ongoing efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

In September of last year, federal district Judge David Alan Ezra ruled against Texas in a separate case concerning the fate of floating river barriers installed by Texas in the Rio Grande. Ezra wrote in his decision that Texas’ claim of authority to unilaterally declare an “invasion” of the state “would give the Governor of Texas more power than is possessed by the President of the United States without authorization from Congress.” 

“The Texas Governor could essentially declare and wage war indefinitely at the Texas Border without Congressional authorization or oversight of any kind,” the ruling explained in a footnote.  “The Court notes that Texas has the right to defend itself from imminent armed invasions. However, this authority to act independently only lasts until resources of the federal government can reach the invasion. Texas may not claim self defense from invasion at the border to justify a long-term usurping of Congressional authority.” 

Earlier this month, the Texas National Guard seized control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, denying entry to federal Border Patrol authorities. The seizure followed an emergency order by Abbott granting the state guard “full control” of the park, over the objections of local officials and the federal government. The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene after the hyper-conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked federal authorities from removing or destroying the barriers. The nation’s highest court ruled in the Biden administration’s favor earlier this week.


Since the Supreme Court’s decision, Abbott has instructed the state’s National Guard to deploy even more reems of concertina wire, exploiting the fact that the court did not explicitly prohibit additional installations. Abbott was asked on Fox News Thursday morning whether he would instruct state officers to physically prevent federal authorities from accessing the border — and he didn’t say no. “Texas very simply is securing the border,” he said before detailing the measures he has taken to deny illegal entry.

Abbott’s rejection of the Supreme Court’s decision — and ongoing power struggle with the Biden administration — could potentially bring the nation to the brink of a constitutional and judicial crisis.
The Biden administration has yet to directly respond to Abbott’s claims of superseding authority over federal law, but the pressure is mounting for the White House to intervene further. On Tuesday Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) called for the president “to establish sole federal control of the Texas National Guard now.”

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