Ken Paxton is the 51st Attorney General of Texas. He was elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn into office on January 5, 2015. He was re-elected to a second term in 2018.
As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Paxton leads more than 4,000 employees in 38 divisions and 117 offices around Texas. That includes nearly 750 attorneys, who handle more than 30,000 cases annually – enforcing child support orders, protecting Texans against consumer fraud, enforcing open government laws, providing legal advice to state officials, and representing the state of Texas in court, among other things.
His first major initiative as attorney general was the formation of a special unit dedicated to combating human trafficking in Texas. During its first year of existence, the Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime section helped arrest the chief executive officer of Backpage.com and coordinated to facilitate the permanent shut down of Backpage.com, the largest online sex-trafficking marketplace in the United States.
Under Attorney General Paxton’s leadership, the agency’s Child Support Division is recognized as the most successful and cost-effective program in the nation. In fiscal year 2020, the division collected more than $4.8 billion for Texas families – an unprecedented amount in one year by any state. This success helped Texas taxpayers avoid over $1 billion in additional public assistance costs.
Attorney General Paxton is focused on protecting Texans and upholding Texas laws and the Constitution. Fighting federal overreach, he filed 27 lawsuits against the Obama administration during a two-year stretch, of which six were heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s obtained an injunction or other winning ruling in more than 75 percent of the cases he’s brought against the federal government. During his tenure in office, Attorney General Paxton has won major cases for Texas on immigration, school rights, Environmental Protection Agency rules and religious freedom. Stopping the EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule preserved Texans’ ability to regulate their own natural resources, including ponds, puddles and streams on private property. Businesses were protected and jobs preserved in Texas when Attorney General Paxton prevailed against the Department of Labor’s “Overtime” rule. Attorney General Paxton led a successful multistate coalition against the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would have increased consumer prices for electricity and weakened the power grid in Texas. Most recently, a U.S. District Court agreed with his 20-state coalition lawsuit holding Obamacare unconstitutional. His office has also obtained a record number of successful election fraud convictions with over 500 offenses pending prosecution and almost 400 ongoing investigations. Attorney General Paxton led several nationwide lawsuits against deceptive opioid marketing, advertisements and programs while ensuring that recovered funds were properly directed to aid Texans suffering from opioid abuse and misuse and their families. Amidst ongoing lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson, additional litigation has already resulted in a $1.6 billion settlement with Mallinckrodt, the largest generic opioid manufacturer in the world, and a $38.4 million settlement with McKinsey, a leading opioid marketing consultant that provided consulting services to OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma for more than 15 years
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