47 Lawmakers Sign Amicus Brief, Back Texas in Lawsuit With Government Over Protecting Its Border

Mark Tapscott
By Mark Tapscott
February 14, 2024Border Security
Over 40 lawmakers signed an amicus brief on Feb. 13, supporting Texas and its claim on a constitutional right to defend itself against an invasion.

Federal officials cannot constitutionally prevent Texas authorities from protecting their citizens against the invasion of illegal immigrants crossing into the Lone Star State at the Rio Grande River that President Joe Biden made possible on his first day in office in 2021, according to 47 House Republicans led by House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-Texas).

“Congress’s regulation of immigration cannot preempt a State’s valid invocation of its sovereign power, ‘without the consent of Congress,’ to ‘engage in War’ if  ‘actually invaded.’ To the extent that there is a conflict between Texas’s valid exercise of its constitutional war power and the Immigration and Nationality Act (‘INA’), it is the latter that must give way. To decide otherwise would read ‘without the consent of Congress’ out of the State Self-Defense Clause,” the representatives told the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in the U.S. v State of Texas in an Amicus Brief made public on Wednesday.

The brief was quoting from Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution. It reads, “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

Another clause of the Constitution—Article IV, Section 4—requires the federal government to guarantee “to every State a Republican form of government” and to “protect each of them against invasion. But when the federal government fails in its duty to protect a State against invasion, that State has the right of self-defense under the Constitution, the brief argues.

“Thus, the Founders foresaw the possibility that the federal government might not fulfill its obligation to protect the States from invasion and explicitly recognized the States’ inherent, retained power to defend themselves. Providently, the State SelfDefense Clause ensures that “the Constitution … is not a suicide pact,” the brief continued.

Federal officials have failed to protect Texas residents as an estimated 8 million illegal immigrants have been allowed to enter the country as a result of Mr. Biden’s reversal of immigration policies that had been in force under his predecessor, President Donald Trump, and which had dramatically slowed such immigration.

The federal court case was prompted by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott signing into law the Texas State Legislature’s Senate Bill 4 (SB4) in December 2023. The measure “criminalizes illegal entry and reentry into the State from a foreign nation and authorizes state judicial officers to order offenders to return to the foreign nation from which they illegally entered,” according to the brief. State officials seeking to remove an illegal immigrant must turn the individual over to federal immigration officials at a U.S. Port of Entry.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) challenged the constitutionality of SB4 in a lawsuit filed Jan. 3, 2024, claiming that immigration is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government and that the Texas law is unconstitutional. Federal attorneys are asking the District Court to issue an injunction barring enforcement by state authorities of SB4.

“It is clear to any honest and objective person living in this country that President Biden has willfully disregarded the laws of the land, abdicated his constitutional duty to provide for a common defense, and unilaterally surrendered control of our border to terrorist drug cartels,” Mr. Arrington told reporters during a Capitol Hill news conference on Wednesday.

“Not only has President Biden failed to enforce our laws and secure our border, he has aggressively obstructed Texas’s efforts to do the job of the federal government, including the DOJ lawsuit over SB4. I am proud to lead 45 of my colleagues in an Amicus Brief supporting Texas’s Article 1 Section 10 right to stop the chaos, secure the border, and protect Texans—not only is the Constitution on our side, but the American people are on our side as well,” the Texas Republican said.

The brief’s congressional signers conclude that the federal court “should hold that whether an invasion of Texas has occurred and whether Texas has chosen an appropriate means to engage in war are both non-justiciable political questions, to be decided by Texas. And, because Texas’s determinations are non-justiciable, it is not for this Court to second-guess their validity under the Constitution.”

Regardless of the District Court’s ruling, the case is likely to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Signers of the brief included 24 Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation, as well as multiple GOP representatives from 14 other states, including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Indiana, New York, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, California, and Illinois.

From The Epoch Times

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