Court Issues Reversal in Floating Barrier Dispute

Court Issues Reversal in Floating Barrier Dispute

( – In June 2023, Texas placed a series of buoys and razor wire across the Rio Grande River to stop migrants from illegally crossing the southern border near Eagle Pass. The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the state in July of that year, stating the barrier violated federal law and put people in danger. A lower court and an appeals court panel subsequently ruled that Texas had to remove the barrier, but that has now changed.

On January 17, CBS News reported that a federal appeals court reversed the order to remove the barrier, pending a review from the full 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Because there was some division amongst the 17 active judges who currently sit on the court, it ruled to vacate the panel ruling and bring the matter to the whole court.

According to Fox 4, Constitutional Law Attorney David Coale said he’s been closely watching the case, noting the “back and forth” after Texas deployed the buoys without prior permission from the federal government. He said it appears that the full court has some questions about how the panel reached its decision to order Texas to remove the barrier, and they want to “thoroughly air it out.”

Coale said two of the judges were appointed by Democratic presidents and one by a Republican president. While judges are supposed to be impartial and non-partisan, Coale noted that the full court is “considerably more conservative.”

According to Fox4, the law expert believes the case will go before the appeals court in May and might even end up before the US Supreme Court. In the meantime, the buoys and razor wire stay in place. The barrier is only one of several immigration disagreements between the Biden administration and Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R).

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