No, Texas Has Not “Defied” The Supreme Court
There is quite a bit of hyperbole about immigration policy and the southern border these days. To take one prominent example, Texas Governor Greg Abbott suggests there is an “invasion” of illegal immigrants that justifies state action under the Constitution. As a constitutional matter, this is not true.
It is not just politicians who are engaged in false, hyperbolic statements, however. Journalists and purported experts are doing it too, such as those who claim that Texas is “defying” the Supreme Court by continuing to put up c-wire on state and private land near the border with Mexico. According to these accounts, because the Supreme Court lifted an injunction that barred the federal government from removing c-wire where necessary for immigration enforcement activities, Texas is flouting the Supreme Court by continuing to place c-wire on state and private property. This is not true either.
In the relevant case, Department of Homeland Security v. Texas, Texas is suing the federal government, in tort, for the destruction of state property (c-wire barriers and the like). The district court generally concluded that Texas was right on the facts, but wrong on the law, because Texas could not seek money damages from the federal government due to sovereign immunity. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit enjoined the federal government from taking additional
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