“This is an exclusively federal issue,” Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard University, told the Times. “Under our Constitution, we sink or swim together.”

Yet many Republicans are citing language in their state constitutions that they say justified blocking refugees, the Times reported.

The states are fired up: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Texas “will not accept any refugees from Syria.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he “won’t accept Syrian refugees in New Jersey,” according to Philly.com. Tennessee State House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada said that “We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming into the state by whatever means we can.”

The interesting thing here is that these governors instinctively stood together in opposition to the federal government before learning whether or not it was legal to do so. They must be thinking now, if they can’t do that, why not? Is it the time today to ask why the federal government has this exclusive right and responsibility and not the states?