Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Newsmax host Carl Higbie mused Thursday about a potential “force-on-force” conflict between Texas and the Biden Administration after the Supreme Court ruled against the state’s Republican governor by declaring that federal agents can remove razor wire laid along the border with Mexico.
In response to the high court’s 5-4 ruling, Gov. Abbott remained defiant, saying in a statement on X, “I will continue to defend Texas’ constitutional authority to secure the border and prevent the Biden Admin from destroying our property.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton similarly commented that the “fight is not over.”
What exactly that means is unclear, and Higbie and Stitt seemed eager to game it out.
“Let’s say this showdown—I mean, that’s what it is. It’s a showdown. It’s a showdown of power and loyalties and constitutionality. Let’s say [Biden] does that,” the Newsmax host theorized. “How many people say, ‘No. You know what? Screw you, Biden administration.’ And how many people stay and fight with Texas versus the federal things, and does that put us on course for a force-on-force conflict?”
Stitt called the situation, which has so far seen several migrant deaths,“very weird”—while adding that clash is currently a “powder keg of tension.”
“We certainly stand with Texas on the right to defend themselves,” he said. “But Biden is going to be in a tough situation. So in other words, he’s going to try to federalize these troops—in other words, put them on federal orders. And so now, their allegiance technically goes to the president of the United States instead of the governor.”
The dispute between Texas and the federal government has been compared to the situation that led President Dwight Eisenhower to federalize the Arkansas National Guard—part of his bid to allow Black students to attend a Little Rock public high school against the wishes of the then-segregationist governor.
As for how those in the Texas National Guard would act if Biden were likewise to use his authority to intervene, Stitt said they would feel conflicted.
“I think they would be in a difficult situation: to protect their homeland or to follow what Biden’s saying,” he said. “It’s very interesting. But then, you know, then you’ve got Oklahoma and Florida and Tennessee and you got all these other states that would send our National Guard to help and to support the efforts of Governor Abbott. Because every state is a border state.”
Similarly, presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday called upon “all willing States to deploy their guards to Texas to prevent the entry of Illegals, and to remove them back across the Border.”
On the topic of legislation to enhance immigration restrictions, it was reported Wednesday that some Republicans—including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—are now backing away from a proposed border bill so that the issue can be better exploited by Trump for his own political advantage.