The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the federal government can remove razor wire erected on the U.S.-Mexico border by Texas law enforcement, which the government argued illegally prevented them from managing the border.
The 5-4 decision vacated an appeals court ruling last month that allowed the wire to stay amid a continued legal standoff over border jurisdiction.
Chief Justice John Roberts led the majority, alongside justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson, with the remaining justices in dissent.
The conflict over the border escalated earlier this month when the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety erected fences and razor wire in a riverside park in Eagle Pass, Texas, a migrant crossing hotspot. The state law enforcement prevented U.S. Border Patrol officers from accessing the park, which also contains the region’s main boat ramp.
It again became more dire after three migrants, a woman and two children, drowned in the Rio Grande just outside the park, with Border Patrol officials claiming that members of the Texas National Guard prevented the federal officials from accessing the river and saving them. Texas officials denied responsibility.