Court Rejects Federal Government’s “Ludicrous” Emergency Rule on Red Snapper Fishing

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued the following statement after a federal district judge overturned a federal emergency rule that attempted to punish certain states – Texas, Louisiana and Florida - by shortening the red snapper recreational fishing season in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the states’ coasts:

“This is the latest example of the federal government getting slapped down for illegal, overreaching regulations. This is a big win for Texas fishermen, jobs along the Gulf Coast and - most importantly - the rule of law. Calling the federal government’s actions ‘totally unacceptable’ the court struck down the government’s blatant and discriminatory attempt to punish Texas simply because federal bureaucrats disagreed with state rules about fishing in state waters. The court recognized what I have said all along – that the federal government was merely looking to penalize fishermen in certain states because they do not agree with the state regulations. Texans will not stand by idly while federal bureaucrats attempt to govern by illegal emergency rule – we will fight back and we will prevail.” 

U.S.District Court opinion in red snapper case

The federal district court issued its strongly-worded opinion Friday evening, slamming the U.S. Department of Commerce’s actions as “ludicrous,” “totally unacceptable,” “discriminatory” and said that the emergency rule amounted to the federal government telling states “if you do something we don’t like, we will punish your citizens.” The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting Texas’ fish and wildlife resources – predicted that the economic impact of the proposed emergency federal rule could have amounted to a loss of as much as $1 million per day for each day that the federal red snapper fishing season was shortened.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office filed this legal challenge on behalf of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


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