SCOTUS Razor Wire

Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

Right-wing media figures fearmonger about an imminent civil war after the Supreme Court permits razor wire removal along the border

Conservative figures have preemptively blamed Joe Biden for any future hostilities, with Sean Hannity claiming he’s “creating a full on … rebellion”

After the Supreme Court permitted federal agents to remove razor wire fencing constructed by Texas officials along a small stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border, right-wing media figures have begun to fearmonger about an impending civil war, with One America News’ Allison Steinberg claiming that Biden is “baiting” conservatives into a military conflict. 

  • The Supreme Court ruled that federal Border Patrol agents could remove razor wire fences constructed by Texas officials along the border with Mexico

    • On January 22, the Supreme Court allowed federal Border Patrol agents to resume dismantling razor wire fencing that Texas officials had installed along the southern border. [The Associated Press, 1/22/24]
    • For months, right-wing media figures have escalated rhetoric around a supposed “invasion” of migrants coming over the border. These claims have often been accompanied by racist conspiracy theories and calls for a civil war to stop the so-called invasion. [Media Matters, 1/12/24, 1/25/24, 1/26/24]
    • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) has encouraged Joe Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard to enforce the ruling, and Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said he’s prepared in the “unlikely event” that should happen. [The Hill, 1/24/24, 1/26/24]
  • Right-wing media figures are hyping a potential civil war over the southern border

    • After reading presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s post on X (formerly Twitter) that criticized Biden’s supposed “failure to secure the southern border,” Fox News host Greg Gutfeld asked, “What's next? A civil war with Democrat versus Republican states?” Gutfeld also used the opportunity to attack the LGBTQ community, chiding, “Millions could die, specifically the ones in Democrat states who will be stuck defending themselves with men's tampons and preferred pronouns.” [Fox News, Gutfeld!, 1/26/24]
    • Appearing on Hannity, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry stated that people should be “up in arms, literally,” over the southern border. Perry also claimed that the Biden administration wants to “go cut the border wire and let these people freely come in and dilute this country.” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/26/24]
    • The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens claimed that “we are edging very closely to a civil war,” adding that there is a “true constitutional crisis happening at our border.” [The Daily Wire, Candace Owens, 1/25/24]
    • While claiming he doesn’t “want a civil war,” InfoWars’ Alex Jones stated that “we have to have the states pull out of the union.” Jones claimed that “it's not just our right, it's our duty” to succeed from the union and “basically impeach the hijacked federal government.” [Infowars, The Alex Jones Show, 1/25/24]
    • Daily Wire host Matt Walsh stated that “the last civil war was unimaginable until it wasn't” after fearmongering about “what happens when federal agents try to destroy border fencing and state troopers stand in their way.” Earlier in the show, Walsh also stated that “red state governors will need to ignore the Supreme Court and do what needs to be done to protect their citizens and the border.” [The Daily Wire, The Matt Walsh Show, 1/23/24]
    • Appearing on One America News, conservative journalist Leo Hohmann claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision was “almost sending out an order for a full-scale civil war.” Hohmann went on to fearmonger about “human trafficking” and “military-age males” coming across the border. [One America News, In Focus, 1/26/24]
    • BlazeTV host Steve Deace claimed that the Supreme Court “told Texas your choices are be invaded or secede.” [BlazeTV, The Steve Deace Show, 1/23/24]
    • Daily Wire host Michael Knowles claimed that “establishment media are collapsing precisely as we near the brink of civil war.” While Knowles admitted that “we hear a lot in recent years” about a potential civil war, he claimed that the country actually started to approach a “potential civil conflict when the libs started to prosecute Trump.” [The Daily Wire, The Michael Knowles Show, 1/26/24]
    • Right-wing social media personality Gunther Eagleman stated on X, “If it takes a civil war to protect America, I’m game.” [Twitter/X, 1/26/24]
  • Some right-wing media figures claim Biden is instigating civil war

    • After claiming that the “showdown at the southern border” was “escalating,” Fox host Sean Hannity speculated that Biden would “order a physical confrontation between Texas security officials.” Hannity also speculated whether Biden would “try and federalize the Texas guard” or “try to arrest the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott.” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/26/24]
    • On his radio show, Hannity blamed Biden for “creating a full on, you know, rebellion” at the southern border. Hannity also speculated that the National Guard would not listen to Biden, stating, “I'm just saying -- law enforcement protects law enforcement, especially good law enforcement officers. They don't want any part of this.” [Premiere Radio Network, The Sean Hannity Show, 1/26/24]
    • While appearing on Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime, WorldStrat President Jim Hanson stated that he hopes Biden will “roll tanks on the Texas National Guard.” Hanson says in his X profile that he is “Winning the Second Civil War.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 1/26/24; Twitter, accessed 1/28/24]
    • Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk claimed it would be “completely on Joe Biden to unnecessarily escalate a conflict” if he “federalizes 26 states' National Guard.” [Real America’s Voice, The Charlie Kirk Show, 1/26/24]
    • OAN host Alison Steinberg claimed that “a civil war” and “federalizing the military” would be “a gift to the Commies, especially in an election year.” Earlier in the segment, Steinberg said some see the situation along the southern border as a “rapidly escalating constitutional and even military crisis” and think that the Biden regime was “baiting” people into a military conflict. [OAN, In Focus, 1/25/24]
    • Right-wing comedian Terrence K. Williams claimed in a social media post that Democrats are “trying to start a Civil War before the Election!” He went on to accuse Biden of “committing Treason” and stated that “the National Guard should remove him and his entire administration from office.” [Twitter/X, 1/25/24]
    • On Truth Social, The Patriot Voice — the account of QAnon influencer John Sabal — claimed that “Biden is openly threatening a REAL CIVIL WAR with Texas” and falsely claimed that “Biden is threatening to USE THE US MILITARY FORCEFULLY AGAINST TEXAS STATE NATIONAL GUARD.” His post added that the situation along the border is a “CRUCIBLE moment” and that people are “seeing what America is like under REAL TYRANNY.” [Truth Social, 1/26/24; Media Matters, 2/8/22]