Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has emerged as a leading legal foe of the federal government, reports the Austin American Statesman. His war on Washington has become a centerpiece of his reelection campaign. Among other things, in recent months he has asked asked a federal appeals court to toss out the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gases threaten the environment; he added Texas to a 20-state lawsuit challenging President Obama’s health care overhaul, and he made a cable news splash in June by scolding Obama over his border policies after bullets fired from Mexico hit El Paso City Hall.
Abbott’s challenges have put Texas in direct confrontation with Obama, Congress and Democratic priorities. “Texas’ actions of suing and challenging the federal government will stop as soon as the federal government stops overreaching and violating the Constitution and laws,” said Abbott, who accuses national Democrats of repeatedly limiting individual liberty and violating state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment. Abbott’s next step might be to challenge the Obama administration’s latest moratorium on deep-water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. His Democratic opponent, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, said Abbott is picking fights that benefit his political career instead of Texans – ignoring legitimate problems and diverting limited state resources into “loser litigation.”