Attorney General Ken Paxton today applauded a U.S. District Court after it issued an injunction affecting Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi to prevent enforcement of the unlawful Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
Last month, Attorney General Paxton and his counterparts from Louisiana and Mississippi filed a motion asking the court to expedite their request for an injunction. The legal action was necessary after a district court in South Carolina overturned President Trump’s effort to delay the WOTUS rule so that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could prepare a replacement rule.
While district courts in North Dakota and Georgia enjoined WOTUS in 24 states, the rule remained in effect in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and other states not covered by the two injunctions.
“Today’s district court ruling is a win for property owners in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, sparing them from the unlawful and impractical WOTUS rule that would allow EPA regulation of ponds, streams and puddles on private land. By restoring principles of federalism to this area of law, the ruling is an even bigger win for the Constitution and the fundamental liberties it protects,” Attorney General Paxton said.
In 2015, Attorney General Paxton was part of a multi-state coalition lawsuit that won a nationwide stay against WOTUS in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, preventing the federal government from taking control of ponds, streams and puddles of Texas property owners.
One of President Trump’s first actions in office was an executive order directing the EPA to begin the process of eliminating WOTUS. At the time, he characterized the rule as “one of the worst examples of federal regulation.” Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cases litigating the Clean Water Act should be heard by federal district courts.