Judge says there’s no room for politics in Texas border bouys lawsuit – Austin American-Statesman

Despite the red-hot political undertones in the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott over the buoy barrier he installed in the Rio Grande, the federal judge presiding over the case made clear Tuesday that any political considerations will get short shrift in his courtroom.

“This is a United States district court. It’s not Congress. It’s not the president,” Senior U.S. Judge David Alan Ezra told the lawyers for both sides Tuesday during the first hearing in advance of a coming trial. “I am not here to engage in any type … of political comment in this decision.”

The decision before the 35-year veteran of the federal bench is whether the string of buoys floating as a border barrier in the international river near Eagle Pass should be removed pending the outcome of the case.

A federal judge on Tuesday heard arguments about whether the string of buoys placed in the Rio Grande by Texas should be removed pending the outcome of a federal lawsuit over the floating barrier.

Testimony from three expert witnesses rested on whether Abbott needed approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before placing the 1,000 feet of giant orange balls that are tethered to 68 concrete blocks weighing 3,000 pounds apiece.

Abbott and lawyers for the state of Texas have insisted the governor acted under his legal authority to protect the state from an “invasion” caused by unlawful immigration and drug trafficking.

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