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The Student News Site of Shaker High School

The Shaker Bison

The Student News Site of Shaker High School

The Shaker Bison

The Next Constitutional Crisis?

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American Flag, Capitol building and the United States Constitution

Almost every place in the world has dealt with power issues in at least one point in their development, and the United States is no exception to that. However, rather than social issues between a “king” and the “peasants”, our conflicts are a little different. They are those between the states and the federal government, which seem  to have amplified in the past few weeks. Let me provide a brief summary of what happened. 

Texas has a border city of Eagle Pass, where there are currently streams of immigrants trying to enter. As an effort to curb the rapid entry of  immigrants, Texas governor Greg Abbot seized a local park and covered barriers with coils of razor wire. However, President Biden and the Department of Homeland Security have come forth and stated that Governor Abbot doesn’t have the right to do this over the southern border. In January of 2024, the Supreme Court ruled in Biden’s favor, saying that the federal government was allowed to take down the razor wire installed by the Abbott administration. In response, Governor Abbott refused to back down, raising questions about how constitutionally, he and Texas state have the right to secure the border of the state as they deem fit. 

Similar to how the federal government is adamant on how they have the ultimate ruling over what is used to control the flow of migrants, Governor Abbott is adamant on how Texas has the power to control its state borders. In a statement he issued, he said that “The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States,” citing Article IV of the Constitution, which assures states that the federal government “shall protect each of them against invasion.” 

He proceeded to claim that  the Executive Branch of the U.S has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws to protect the States, including immigration laws, and that the Biden Administration has refused to “enforce those laws and has even violated them.” Because of Biden’s lack of action to protect the border, Abbott says that Texas is allowed to protect their own border, bringing into conversation Article I of the Constitution, of which a section prohibits states in most cases from entering independent compacts with foreign governments or waging wars – with a key modifier. The modifier is that the above apply to the states, “unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.”

Abbott argues that such invasion is what is happening at the border,and therefore Texas has the right to protect their own borders, given that the federal government is failing to do so. A number of other states, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming, have come out in support of Texas. 

With the upcoming election, Trump chose to stand by Abbott, stating that “Texas has rightly invoked the Invasion Clause of the Constitution, and must be given full support to repel the invasion. We encourage all willing States to deploy their guards to Texas to prevent the entry of illegals, and to remove them back across the Border.” However,there are still discussions as to whether the immigrants entering through the Texan border is to be considered an invasion. 

Currently, the situation seems uncertain, and it is difficult to determine what direction we will head in. But this situation absolutely brings in many questions, one of the most important ones being, are we back to the original question of state power vs federal power that we’ve been dealing with since the Articles of Confederation? Are we truly in the middle of an actual Constitutional Crisis? How will all of this impact the upcoming election? Another thing to note is, it seems like immigration will be an important factor for people when voting, as it has become almost as important of a concern as the economy. 

Regardless of what happens, I hope you remain on the lookout and remain aware of current issues involving our country. It is important to stay informed about both international affairs, as well as domestic affairs. I hope this article has given you a basis to do your own research on and form your own opinions/questions about!

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About the Contributor
(she/her/hers) Likhita Tamanampudi is a Freshman at Shaker High School and is a new member of the Bison. She is currently working as a writer and planning out the podcast with the other members. She is also a member of FCCLA and Key Club. She likes to draw, write, spend time with friends, and read during spare time.

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