What you believe depends on your interpretation of the border dispute between Texas and the federal government. Do you think the federal government has the authority and, therefore, the responsibility to protect non-citizens from possible injuries while they try to take a “back door” into Texas? Does this impact BP agents from doing their work? OR do you think Texas has the right to protect its borders? Or do you think both sides are correct?
Like you, I’m a concerned citizen, not a constitutional attorney or a public official. This case between Texas and the federal government looks challenging and controversial, but I can’t leave it up to “smarter people” to tell me what to think. I want to investigate for myself. As citizens, we should be able to figure out a few things about this complex situation. So, let’s go to the Bill of Rights and the Founders’ words to see what we can find about federalism and state’s rights where this question is concerned.
Primary Sources Related to the Border Dispute
James Madison, “the father of the Constitution” and our fourth President, wrote this:
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” – James Madison, Federalist 45
Question: Who has more rights? Whose rights are few and defined?
Next, let’s go to the Bill of Rights, specifically our Tenth Amendment:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Tenth Amendment
What powers are reserved to the States or to the people?
Where can we find the eighteen powers delegated to the United States [federal government] by the Constitution? (If you say “Article I, section 8,” go to the head of the class 🙂
Additional Sources About the Texas and Federal Government Border Dispute
We should consider the opinion of John Adams, Founding Father and second President of the United States, about property:
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” – John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the United States of America
Question: What does Adams say happens when the government does not regard property as a high priority (like the laws of God)?
The Supreme Court recently said that the federal government can remove the barrier in question, but it did not hinder Texas from installing new barriers.
There are other questions to consider, like additional sections of the Constitution. See “What Is An Invasion?” here: https://civicsandcitizenship.org/what-is-an-invasion-anyway/
Also, some United States statutes apply, but I am not an authority on them. I’ve read a few, and they tend to favor We the People.
So, will Texas or the federal government win this dispute? The issue may be complicated, but I don’t want to be spoon-fed. I want to do my best to understand by doing the research. Have you done any research? If so, respectfully and with civility, share your findings.
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This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸