In a high-stakes decision on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Biden government, permitting Border Patrol officers to remove concertina wire installed along Texas’s border with Mexico. Texas Governor Greg Abbott erected the fencing in response to the Biden administration’s lack of border security enforcement.
The makeshift barrier was part of Texas’s effort to impede the invasion of migrants crossing the border since Biden took office. The fencing measure and an order by Gov. Abbott to seize a public park situated on the border in Eagle Pass created an intensifying standoff between the federal agents and the state of Texas.
The Supreme Court’s decision was close, resulting in a 5-4 split in favor of the emergency appeal filed by the Biden government, which objected to a previous appellate ruling in favor of Texas. Chief Justice Roberts cast the critical vote that tipped the scales toward the majority. Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh all registered their dissent.
Rounding out the court’s vote count, Justice Amy Coney Barrett — a Trump appointee — sided with the majority. Both Roberts and Barrett appear to have been swayed by arguments favoring the federal government’s constitutional authority over the U.S. border.
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