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Republican Judges Deal Blow to Governor Abbot Over Texas Border

Texas Governor Fights for Border Authority Amid Legal Resistance

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Amidst the ongoing tension at the U.S.-Mexico border, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, encountered a significant judicial thwarting. Interestingly, the unexpected decision came from appellate judges chosen by Republican administrations. The case centered around the authority and execution of border security measures by the Texas state government, which saw robust resistance by the Biden administration and a surge in immigrants entering the country.

Governor Abbott possesses an active track record in waging legal battles against the current presidency on the jurisdiction of instituting safety strategies along the southern edge of the U.S. His administration argues that the marked increase of illegal immigrants represents an unauthorized intrusion into the state’s territory by giving the mandate of Texas’s constitutional authority to preserve itself as the foundation.

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The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s official data showcases a rise in the number of meetings at the U.S.-Mexico border. During the fiscal year 2023, the encounters exceeded 2.4 million, a safe hike from the 1.7 million cases in 2021 as reported by Newsweek.

The Texas governor, however, has faced legal hiccups in the process. The Biden administration countered his efforts with meaningful retaliatory steps. A key lawsuit concerning the removal of razor wire established by the Texas National Guard by federal border agents saw the United States Supreme Court siding with Biden’s administration.

Adding to this context, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, recognized by law specialists as one of the more traditionally leaning judiciary bodies in the nation, recently delivered another legal setback to the Texas governor. The judgment in question was related to a different lawsuit concerning Texas’s power to construct a water obstacle in the Rio Grande, as pointed out by Newsweek.

In the fall month of September 2023, Judge David A. Ezra issued a directive requiring Texas to dismantle this barrier until a final verdict on the matter is delivered. The temporary injunction was further erected as a result of a 2-1 decision by a Fifth Circuit panel in December.

In the New Year, the court agreed to a fresh hearing that included the full 11-member judicial body, moving beyond the initial panel of three judges.

Recently, following this development, the legal representatives of Governor Abbott requested the Fifth Circuit to halt trial proceedings until a March trial date could be established for the case by Judge Ezra, co-aligning with the appeals court’s schedule. However, this request was turned down when seven Republican judges joined with their Democratic counterparts.

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While criticisms over Judge Ezra’s timeline were expressed by these Republican judges, they concluded that the lawyers representing the state of Texas had not successfully met the conditions necessary to delay trial proceedings.

Don R. Willett, a circuit judge who was appointed by ex-President Donald Trump, stated that although the expedited schedule is uncertain, it doesn’t meet the criteria for mandamus. Despite casting aspersions on the decisions of the district court, the judge expressed that they could not assert the high standards of mandamus being met. The district court’s scheduling orders, though questionable, did not display a pattern of non-adherence pointing toward mandamus relief.

Four other judges appointed by GOP also agreed with this perspective, including Chief Judge Priscilla Richman Owen, a pick by ex-President George W. Bush, as Newsweek notes.

Judge Edith Jones, chosen by late President Ronald Reagan, voiced her opinion that even if she believes the district court overstepped its boundaries in deciding the trial date and pretrial deadlines, she was reluctantly agreeing to go against the Texas appeal.

Governor Abbott’s legal counsel noted in a document filed in January urging the appeal court to keep Ezra’s ruling on hold: ‘Rushing a trial in this substantial matter before the completion of en banc review could result in resources of the Court, the district court, and the parties going to waste. It could also significantly prejudice Texas’s sovereign interest in defending itself along with the rights of millions of Texans.’

At the beginning of the New Year, the Texas Governor stood up to the Biden administration by announcing he would increase law enforcement actions against illegal immigrants entering the state. Governor Abbott accused the President of shirking his constitutional responsibility to execute border security and immigration law faithfully.

He believes, as stated in his emergency order, that the United States’ Executive Branch has a duty to enforce existing federal laws safeguarding the states, including the current immigration policies. He added that President Biden had not only overlooked these laws but had also breached them.

In sum, the disagreement regarding jurisdiction at the U.S.-Mexico border continues amidst increasing immigrant encounters and controversial legal battles. While Governor Abbott is determined to protect Texas’s sovereign interest, the recent legal defeats indicate increasing complications in this pursuit.

More Articles: Real News Now

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