Jan 23, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Chip Roy calls on Texas to defy SCOTUS border ruling

Rep. Chip Roy in Washington, D.C., on July 26, 2022. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) called on Texas lawmakers Tuesday to ignore the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Biden administration to remove razor wire installed to prevent migrant crossings at the border.

The big picture: The Republican-led state and the federal government have been dueling over keeping razor wires and buoy barriers with blades along the Southern border as the U.S. sees a surge in the number of migrants attempting to enter the country.

What he's saying: Roy said on Fox News Tuesday that the state has a duty under the Constitution to protect its citizens.

  • "There is no exception to that," he said. "And if the Supreme Court wants to ignore that truth, which a slim majority did, Texas still had the duty, Texas leaders still have the duty, to defend their people."
  • Roy added, "It's like, if someone's breaking into your house, and the court says, 'Oh, sorry. You can't defend yourself.' What do you tell the court? You tell the court to go to hell, you defend yourself and then figure it out later."

Meanwhile, other Republican lawmakers in the state echoed their disdain at the decision.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that the state's National Guard "continues to hold the line in Eagle Pass." and "Texas will not back down from our efforts to secure the border in Biden's absence."
  • He also affirmed a statement from the Texas Department of Public Safety that said the state "will maintain its current posture in deterring illegal border crossings by utilizing effective border security measures - reinforced concertina wire & anti-climb barriers along the Rio Grande."
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Tuesday that the decision makes him angry and accused President Biden of "deliberately, systematically" dismantling progress the state had made in securing the border.

Catch up quick: The Supreme Court on Monday granted the Biden administration's request to vacate an injunction in the case, clearing the way for Border Patrol to remove razor-wire barriers installed by the state along the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass.

  • The Department of Justice had filed a lawsuit against Texas over the barriers last year. Texas sued the Biden administration in December in an attempt to stop agents from removing them.
  • The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court earlier this month to grant an emergency motion allowing it to remove the wire.

Of note: A divided Supreme Court made Monday's ruling with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr., Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh dissenting.

  • Asked about the lack of an explanation in the brief order, Roy called on the two conservative justices who voted for it.
  • "I mean, I don't know. You gotta go talk to John Roberts, Amy Coney Barrett. There's no excuse for it," Roy said.

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