Former Texas Attorney General and current Gov. Greg Abbott filed 31 of those lawsuits. His successor, Ken Paxton, has mounted 11 such legal challenges since taking office in 2015. Paxton’s office has provided cost estimates for 39 of those cases, which as of mid-2016 totaled about $5.9 million.
So what did Texans get for their money? So far, there have been seven cases in the win column for the state, with 12 losses, nine cases withdrawn and 14 pending. (Scroll down to see details on each case.)
In the state’s most recent win, a split U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down Obama’s executive order that would have provided relief from deportation to millions of people. But the outcome of that case could change after a new justice is appointed. Texas’ most recent loss came in June, when a district judge in Dallas dismissed a lawsuit over the resettlement of Syrian refugees here. When the ruling came out, Paxton said that his office was “considering our options moving forward.”
Paxton’s office declined a request for an interview to discuss the cases. In the past, Texas officials have argued that even when lawsuits are not ultimately successful, they can stall costly regulations for years and prompt federal agencies to reconsider their policies.
While this analysis looks at lawsuits that Texas has filed against the Obama administration, the reverse happens, too. The Justice Department sued Texas in 2013 over its controversial voter ID law, and the U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals largely agreed with the challenge. The appeals court’s July decision is by no means final, with Texas likely to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Click here for a look at all 42 cases where the state sued the Obama administration, color-coded by status and sorted by cost, with the most expensive lawsuits shown first. Use the menu to filter cases by subject matter and status. We summarize what the face-off is about, the total cost to the state and the standing of each lawsuit.
Jim Malewitz and Sophia Bollag contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Top image: Illustration by Todd Wiseman for The Texas Tribune.