Paxton Requests Expedited Ruling in Concertina Lawsuit

Concertina wire | Image by Collin Pruett/The Dallas Express

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Wednesday that he filed a letter with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals urging the court to expedite a lawsuit with the federal government regarding concertina wire along the southern border.

This letter concerns a lawsuit filed by the Lone Star State to prevent federal agents from cutting concertina wire along the border, which is meant to deter migrants from crossing into the state unlawfully.

Texas Solicitor General Aaron Nielsen authored the letter requesting an expedited process, explaining that a quicker decision should come because “no injunction protects Texas’s property rights.”

“Texas sought injunctive relief to prevent Defendants from destroying Texas’s property — specifically, Texas’s wire fencing. The district court granted Texas a temporary restraining order (TRO) on October 30, 2023, but on November 29, 2023, declined to convert that TRO into a preliminary injunction because it believed there had not been a waiver of federal sovereign immunity,” continued the letter.

“A motions panel of this Court, however, granted Texas’s motion for an injunction pending appeal and Defendants’ motion to expedite the appeal.”

Nielsen further explained that the defendants filed an emergency vacatur with the U.S. Supreme Court due to claims that concertina wire would affect the daily operations of federal agents.

The Supreme Court agreed with the defendants and removed the injunction; however, the solicitor general claims that “supplemental findings” and “uncontradicted testimony from their witnesses” cast doubt on the accuracy of the defendants’ claims.

“As detailed above, Defendants say they must be able to destroy Texas’s property to engage in their ‘day-to-day conduct’ and to prevent ‘serious on-the-ground consequences,’” the letter stated.

“That Defendants “have not cut or attempted to cut any wire barriers in the Eagle Pass area” in the two-and-a-half months since the Supreme Court vacated this Court’s injunction, however, confirms that they can operate without destroying Texas’s property. This fact further demonstrates that Texas is entitled to injunctive relief.”

Paxton explained the decision to file this letter in a news release, stating that it is necessary because “the Biden Administration made extremely misleading claims at the Supreme Court of the United States about Texas’s border security actions.”

“Many news outlets amplified these false claims to blame Texas for deaths that occurred at an illegal border crossing in the Rio Grande. That narrative … has been completely disproven. While Biden’s open borders doctrine has created a nationwide immigration disaster and untold suffering, Texas is doing everything we can to uphold law and order.”

This lawsuit is one of several that have been litigated between the federal government and the Lone Star State, with the two sides being wrapped up in legal issues regarding a floating barrier in the Rio Grande and a state border security law.

The most recent development in the legal battles between the two government entities was a hearing with a Fifth Circuit panel concerning the fed’s attempt to shut down Texas Senate Bill 4, which makes unlawful entry into the state a crime.

Nielsen conceded during this hearing that the goal of this bill was to carefully tread “the line of Supreme Court precedent,” noting that courts will have the final say on whether the bill will be enforceable.

“To be fair, maybe Texas went too far,” he said, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. “That’s the question this court is going to have to decide, but that’s the context of which we are here [sic].”

The hearing ended without a decision from the Fifth Circuit panel, and it remains unclear when a decision will be rendered.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article