Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently secured an en banc hearing in the Rio Grande buoy barriers lawsuit.

In December of last year, a panel of U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judges ordered that Texas must move its marine barriers. Paxton immediately filed a petition to rehear the case before a full court and allow the barriers to remain in place until then. 

The Fifth Circuit granted an en banc (full court) rehearing of the case in a January 17 order—staying the injunction forcing Texas to remove the barriers. 

According to a same-day press release from Paxton’s office, the buoy system was initially deployed to “reduce the number of unvetted aliens attempting to enter the United States at a dangerous and illegal river crossing rather than a designated port of entry.”

Now that the en banc rehearing has been scheduled for sometime during the first week of May 2024, the buoy barriers can temporarily stay in place. 

Paxton celebrated on X by saying “Great News!” 

This is the latest development in the Biden administration’s attacks on Texas’ efforts to secure its border. Not only are state government officials fighting back, but Texans overwhelmingly support leaving the buoy barriers in place. 

In September of 2023, Texas Scorecard asked Texans to comment on what they think should be done about the buoy barriers following an order from a federal judge to have them removed. 

“Here’s what Gov. Abbott should say: ‘Come and take it,’” said True Texas Project President Fran Rhodes.

Robert Hooton said “We should leave the buoys in place, add more, and start sending immigrants back across the border as the federal government should be doing. So far, all that Abbott has done amounts to ineffective political posturing.”

“Our great State of Texas has every God-given right to protect its territory, and if the Federal Government will not do it, we damn sure will!” stated Lori Lundy.

Texas Scorecard reached out to the Biden administration for comment on the latest development in the case but has not yet received a response. 

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.