Supreme Court sides with Biden administration in Texas border razor-wire case

The move paves the way for federal officials to remove the wire from the state’s border with Mexico.

By NPR Washington DeskJanuary 22, 2024 3:09 pm

From NPR:

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, granted the Biden administration’s request to vacate the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ injunction in a case involving razor wire places along Texas’s border with Mexico.

The move paves the way for federal officials to remove the wire.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.

Texas has maintained that it needs to act on the border because the federal government has failed to stem the tide of migrants crossing from Mexico.

Gov. Greg Abbott launched a controversial state-led, border security effort called “Operation Lone Star” in 2021. Since then, Texas has installed razor wire, a floating barrier in the Rio Grande, and added thousands of Texas state troopers and National Guard soldiers to patrol parts of the state’s 1,254-mile-long border with Mexico.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration turned to the Supreme Court over the installation of razor wire on the northern banks of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass. That came after the state sued the administration in October, claiming federal agents were destroying state property and preventing Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety officers from securing the border.

A federal judge ruled in the Biden administration’s favor, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals later decided the judge misunderstood a law that spells out what the federal government can be sued for.

On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration, allowing federal agents to cut through portions of the wire if they deem it necessary.