Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is asking a federal judge to stay a decision that found the state's water management responsible for the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes.
Abbott sought the emergency stay Friday. He argued Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack overstepped her authority in a Monday order prohibiting Texas from granting new water permits on two rivers.
Abbott says the order could cause severe economic harm. A stay would allow the state to appeal the decision before it goes into effect. If a stay is not issued, Abbott says he will go to a federal appeals court.
Jack ruled that by not allowing enough freshwater to enter the bays, the state harmed the cranes' food supply leading to their deaths in 2008-2009.