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The Legal Limit: The Obama Administration's Attempts to Expand Federal Power

Report No. 3: The Obama Administration’s Assault on Texas

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released his third report on the Obama Administration’s attempts to expand federal power, specifically as it relates to federal encroachment upon the state of Texas. (View the first report here and the second report here.) He highlights ten cases in which Texas was forced to file lawsuits to prevent the Obama Administration from usurping powers reserved for the states, and five additional pending lawsuits challenging the Administration’s overreach into state governance.

“As Americans continue to suffer from a struggling economy, exacerbated by the misguided and botched Obamacare legislation, the worst thing the federal government could do is burden states that have managed to achieve economic growth in spite of the stifling federal regulatory environment,” Sen. Cruz said. “Unfortunately Texas must constantly defend itself against President Obama’s expansive view of federal power, and I applaud Texas’s legal challenges under the leadership of Attorney General Greg Abbott against this Administration’s assault on state sovereignty. I hope others will follow his lead.”

The cases highlighted in Sen. Cruz’s report include:

  • NFIB v. Sebelius (U.S. Supreme Court): Obamacare’s conditions on Medicaid funding are unconstitutional.
  • Texas v. United States (U.S. Supreme Court): The Department of Justice imposed unconstitutional preclearance on Texas’s redistricting plans.
  • Texas v. U.S. Department of Interior (Eastern District of Louisiana): The Department of Interior imposed an unlawful moratorium on offshore drilling.
  • Texas v. EPA (U.S. Supreme Court): The Obama Administration’s EPA tried to expand its power by regulating greenhouse gases.
  • Texas v. U.S. Department of Education (5th Circuit): The Department of Education illegally withheld from Texas $830 million in educational funding.
  • Texas v. EPA (5th Circuit): EPA tried to override Texas’s program for incentivizing facilities to voluntarily comply with air permitting regulations.
  • Luminant Generation Co. v. EPA (5th Circuit): EPA unlawfully blocked Texas’s air permitting program.
  • EPA v. EME Homer City Generation L.P. (U.S. Supreme Court): EPA illegally imposed a cross-state air pollution rule.
  • Texas v. Crabtree (Southern District of Texas): A Department of Commerce agency unlawfully promulgated an emergency fishing rule in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Texas Pipeline Association v. FERC (5th Circuit): A federal energy agency illegally ordered pipelines to report intrastate business activities.

Additionally, Texas has the following lawsuits pending against the Obama Administration:

  • Texas v. EEOC (Northern District of Texas): A challenge to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s unlawful hiring guidelines that prevent employers, like Texas, from categorically excluding convicted felons from employment.
  • North Dakota v. EPA (District of North Dakota): A lawsuit to require EPA to designate areas of the country as complying with national air quality standards, after EPA missed the deadlines for doing so under the Clean Air Act.
  • Oklahoma v. EPA (Western District of Oklahoma): An action brought by 12 States against EPA, seeking to gain access under the Freedom of Information Act to documents between EPA officials and environmental groups.
  • State National Bank of Big Spring v. Lew (D.C. Circuit): A challenge to Title II of Dodd-Frank, which gives the Treasury Secretary and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation unilateral authority to take over and liquidate large financial institutions.
  • Texas v. EPA (D.C. Circuit): A case challenging EPA’s designation of Wise County as an ozone non-attainment area.

The Obama Administration's Assault on Texas