It’s a Good Question!

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. During his first Stat... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. During his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden was expected to speak on his administration’s efforts to lead a global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, work to curb inflation, and bring the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS

From TPM Reader CB

Here’s my thing: Republicans are doing a bunch of insane things and the media barely mentions them. Nothing new there. But with Abbot stopping trucks at the border–why isn’t Biden forcing a showdown? Constitutionally, Abbot just doesn’t have that right, does he? So why doesn’t Biden make a move?

It would draw attention to Abbot’s willingness to sabotage ordinary Americans for political gain, it would shift the inflation discussion to a Republican, and it would solve the problem. The worst case scenario I can see is Biden losing a showdown with the Supreme Court, showcasing the court’s illegitimacy, and putting an ugly spotlight on Abbot.

Is there some kind of legal issue preventing Biden from reminding everyone that border crossings are federal business? I’m sort of mystified why no one on the Dem side is challenging Abbot’s latest stunt.

Anyway, thanks for listening. Consider this my contribution to market research–one reader has questions about this legal topic.

Honestly, this is a really good question. Abbott has no constitutional right to block or regulate commerce between American states or between the United States and foreign countries. He also has no right to negotiate trade restrictions with foreign countries. He is currently doing both.

Certainly there are many other drivers of inflation currently than the actions of Greg Abbott. But they are clearly contributing to it and unlike so many other drivers Abbott is doing it on purpose. Since he’s pretty blatantly violating the constitution to do so it seems like a pretty obvious fight to take a stand on.

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