Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton won a significant legal challenge on Tuesday against the 2022 omnibus spending bill that the federal judge ruled caused an undue burden on the state.

At issue was a rule placed by former U.S. House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that permitted members to vote by proxy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Paxton successfully argued that passage of the $1.7 trillion spending bill was unconstitutional because less than half of the members of the House were physically present.

The U.S. Constitution stipulates that a “quorum” must be established to pass legislation. Rules dictate that a majority of representatives are physically present to pass certain bills, specifically spending bills, which the House controls. Fewer than half of the U.S. representatives were physically present when the spending bill was passed.

“Congress acted egregiously by passing the largest spending bill in U.S. history with fewer than half the members of the House bothering to do their jobs, show up, and vote in person,” said Attorney General Paxton in a statement.

“Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi abused proxy voting under the pretext of COVID-19 to pass this law, then Biden signed it, knowing they violated the Constitution. This was a stunning violation of the rule of law. I am relieved the Court upheld the Constitution.”

“Supreme Court precedent has long held that the Quorum Clause requires presence, and the Clause’s text distinguishes those absent members from the quorum and provides a mechanism for obtaining a physical quorum by compelling absent members to attend,” U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix wrote in a 120-page decision.

According to reporting by U.S. News, the Department of Justice, representing the administration of President Joe Biden, had no comment on the ruling.

Hendrix limited his decision to specific provisions of the spending bill that directly impact funds Texas must pay to pregnant female workers employed by the state government. Paxton had challenged the requirement that state government employees covered under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act be provided “reasonable accommodations” at the expense of Texas taxpayers.

In his arguments against the provision’s unconstitutionality, Paxton pointed out that Texas already has laws to provide accommodations for pregnant workers, according to reporting by The Texas Tribune. Paxton wrote in a brief to the court “that the law unconstitutionally opened the state to lawsuits over the federal law.”

The court enjoined the federal government from enforcing this provision but left the remainder of the spending bill intact, denying the state’s right to sue over a provision that provides services to unlawful migrants.

Serving as co-counsel in the case was the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which supported the judge’s ruling.

“The Court correctly concluded that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 violated the Quorum Clause of the U.S. Constitution because a majority of House members was not physically present when the $1.7 trillion spending bill was passed,” a statement from TPPF read. “Proxy voting is unconstitutional.”