February 21, 2024

In Brief: Texas’s Defense From Invasion

The state has the constitutional right to defend itself, says Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

As President Joe Biden continues to sacrifice states like Texas to his dereliction of duty to enforce federal immigration law, the tension between the administration and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has reached a fever pitch. The governor took to the pages of the New York Post to advocate for his state’s actions to repel an invasion.

One of the most crucial rights granted in the U.S. Constitution is a state’s ability to secure its own border.

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” emphasized that Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 would allow Virginia’s state militia “to be called forth to suppress smugglers” who had endangered their state.

Those smugglers were bringing contraband into the state and threatened the sovereignty of Virginia’s borders. Madison knew that states must have the means to defend themselves.

Abbott pointed to similar support from Chief Justice Joseph Story, a contemporary of Madison and historically renowned jurist on constitutional issues. The governor also explained that Texas faces a crisis far outstripping that confronting Virginia in his example. He recounted the work of cartels to traffic deadly drugs that kill tens of thousands of Americans, as well as cartels’ responsibility for violent crime, sexual assault, and murder. He thus concludes:

The criminal smuggling activity faced by Texas far exceeds Madison’s criteria for use of a state militia. Texas, and the 25 states whose Governors support our efforts, is utilizing Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution to defend against imminent dangers or invasions. That constitutional provision is the supreme law of the land and would supersede any federal statutes to the contrary, if Congress ever passed one.

Texas is leading the fight, with the help of Governors from across the country, to do the job that President Joe Biden has failed to do. We will continue to build barriers that deny illegal entry into our state, arrest immigrants that cross illegally, and fulfill our duty to secure our border.

Just like our Founding Fathers, we will illustrate to Americans exactly what our great constitution provides, and how its structure empowers the states as well as the federal government to preserve the safety and well-being of every American. We are the inheritors of a responsibility first recognized by our brave ancestors more than 235 years ago. As long as we must, we will defend our state, and this nation, from grievous threats to our border.

Read the whole thing here.

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