EDITORIAL | Who's The Boss? Texas defies feds, but demands cities knuckle under

(Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

While President Joe Biden and Texas Governor Greg Abbott are locked in a battle over illegal immigration, another fight is brewing within the state's borders.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week announced his office is filing suit against five cities where voters chose to decriminalize possession of under 4 ounces of marijuana.

Voters went to the polls in the five cities -- Austin, San Marcos, Elgin, Denton and Killeen -- and put an end to arrests and citations for small amounts of cannabis.

In every city the measure passed with more than 70% of the vote, which shows a high level of public support.

Paxton says that doesn't matter. Decriminalization violates the state constitution and state drug laws. He says that cities cannot supersede either.

"I will not stand idly by as cities run by pro-crime extremists deliberately violate Texas law and promote the use of illicit drugs that harm our communities," Paxton said in a press release.

The AG is probably on sound ground with the lawsuits under state law. But we find it interesting Texas is insisting cities defer to the state at the same time the governor is defying the federal government -- which under the U.S. Constitution has sole authority over immigration, legal or otherwise. And states are prohibited from interfering with the federal government's constitutional powers under Article 6, Clause 2 of that same document.

The border crisis is real. We think Texas and the feds should work together to solve it.

We still see the irony here, though.

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