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A federal district judge’s admonishment of attorneys for the state of Texas on Tuesday was portrayed in the media as a loss for Gov. Greg Abbott and his border-securing Operation Lone Star.
It wasn’t. If anything, it was the Department of Justice’s case that floundered.
DOJ sued Texas last month over the buoy barriers placed in the Rio Grande, contending the federal government should have been consulted, and further, that the buoys are “offensive” to the Mexican government.
Migrants crossing into the U.S. from Mexico walk along large buoys being used as a floating border barrier on the Rio Grande on Aug. 1, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. (AP/Eric Gay)
And while the central premise of the federal government’s case was that it had regulatory authority over the Rio Grande as a navigable waterway, DOJ lawyers failed to prove it’s navigable (as was pointed out in the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s amicus brief on behalf of 22 members of Congress).
In a Tuesday hearing, U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra appeared uninterested in evidence that the Biden administration has