Abbott Floats Taking Border Fight to Supreme Court

 December 4, 2023

In a move that has sparked controversy, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared his intention to fight a recent court ruling regarding the installation of buoys in the Rio Grande River, potentially taking the battle all the way to the Supreme Court.

Gov. Abbott's plan to deploy a 1,000-foot-long string of buoys in the Rio Grande River as a barrier against illegal border crossings is now in legal limbo following a federal appeals court ruling ordering their removal.

The federal appeals court ruled by a majority of 2-1, stating the need to remove the buoys on the grounds that the Rio Grande is classified as a navigable waterway. Despite this, Gov. Abbott remains firm in his stance, arguing that the river is, by definition, not navigable and does not serve as a transportation route.

Border Security Central to Current Political Discourse

Border security continues to be a significant issue for Republican lawmakers, particularly in the border states. This is evident in the ambitious border wall construction project carried out in Texas, which has outpaced the efforts completed under former President Trump's administration.

Alongside this border security narrative, there was a failed bill to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Abbott expressed surprise over the bill's failure, put forth by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). He went as far as to label Mayorkas as the most deserving to be impeached in the current administration.

Public sentiment appears to align with Abbott's view, as a majority of U.S. voters reportedly support the impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas. Border-related issues continue to be a flashpoint in other states, with Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake highlighting Arizona's struggle with the highest numbers of adult illegal border crossings.

Biden Administration Challenges Texas Border Security Measures

The Biden administration, in contrast, pursued legal action to dismantle Abbott's buoy barrier. The administration has argued that the buoys obstruct navigation and raise significant humanitarian concerns.

Gov. Abbott, in response to these claims, stated:

"What Texas is going to be doing, and we will be seeking what’s called an unbuffed ruling by the entire district court of appeals, and if we lose there, we will take that to the United States Supreme Court because we know Texas has the right to legally deploy those buoys in the water to prevent people from entering our country and our state illegally."

It's clear that this legal dispute is far from over, and the nation's eyes are on Texas as it navigates the complex issue of border security. What remains to be seen is how far Gov. Abbott is willing to go to protect his border security measures and how the courts will respond to his challenge.


Undeterred by the ruling, Abbott announced his intention to request an "unbuffed ruling" that would enable a full appeals court re-hearing of the case. If this appeal fails, he has vowed to escalate the matter to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Abbott plans to maintain the existing buoys in the river as the legal proceedings continue, showcasing his commitment to the border security concerns of his state.

  • Gov. Abbott deployed a 1,000-foot-long string of buoys in the Rio Grande River as a barrier against illegal border crossings.
  • A federal appeals court ruled that the buoys must be removed as the river is classified as a navigable waterway.
  • Abbott intends to request an "unbuffed ruling" for a full appeals court re-hearing of the case, and if unsuccessful, he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • The Biden administration opposes the buoy barrier, citing navigational and humanitarian concerns.
  • Border security continues to be a central issue in the political discourse of border states.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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