Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Court Rules Against Texas’ Floating Border Wall; Texas Must Remove Rio Grande Migrant Barrier, US Appeals Court Rules

AP Photo/Eric Gay
Court rules against Texas’ floating border wall
An appeals court ruled Friday that Texas’ floating border wall in the Rio Grande is illegal under federal law, delivering a victory to President Biden as he battles Gov. Greg Abbott over the surge in illegal immigration.
Mr. Abbott had ordered the “marine floating barriers” to try to prevent migrants from wading over near Eagle Pass, a border town, but the feds said he was interfering with the river and with Border Patrol operations and had to take it down.
A lower court first ruled against Texas, and now the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, has upheld that injunction that ordered work on the barrier to cease.
“All of the district court’s findings of fact were well supported by the record, and its conclusion that the equities favor issuance of a preliminary injunction was not an abuse of discretion,” wrote Judge Dana M. Douglas, a Biden appointee. She was joined in her decision by Judge Carolyn Dineen King, a Carter appointee.
The case turned on whether the Rio Grande is considered “navigable” under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which gives the feds final say over what happens in those waters.
The court on Friday said the river is navigable.
Judge Don Willett, a Trump appointee, dissented, saying the 1,000-foot section in question has not historically been used for commerce or navigation, nor is it likely in the future. He said evidence to the contrary was “sketchy” at best.
“In sum, there is not sufficient evidence to find that the United States is likely to prevail in showing that this specific 1,000-foot stretch of the Rio Grande was historically used or susceptible of use in commerce. The district court clearly erred in finding navigability on this ground,” he wrote. --->READ MORE HERE
 REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo
Texas must remove Rio Grande migrant barrier, US appeals court rules:
Texas must remove a 1,000-foot-long (305-meter) floating barrier it placed in the Rio Grande river to deter migrants from illegally crossing the border with Mexico, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday in a victory for President Joe Biden's administration.
The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision declined a request by the Republican-governed state to reverse a federal judge's decision ordering it to move the string of buoys placed in the Rio Grande in July near Eagle Pass, Texas.
The 5th Circuit decided that the shallow waters where the buoys were placed were navigable, meaning that a U.S. environmental law requires Texas to receive permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before installing them.
The administration has argued that the barrier is unlawfully blocking navigation and poses humanitarian concerns.
After the administration sued Texas in July to remove the barrier, San Antonio-based U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra ordered state officials to move the buoys to an embankment on the U.S. side of the river - which serves as the border with neighboring Mexico - pending the outcome of the litigation.
The 5th Circuit upheld that decision on Friday, dealing a setback to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican. Abbott contends that Biden, a Democrat, has been too lenient with border security as record numbers of migrants have been caught crossing illegally during his presidency.
Texas can ask the full 5th Circuit to review the decision. --->READ MORE HERE
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