The Speaker's Race: Waiting for Abbott
Wed December 12, 2007 11:48 pm

Suddenly there is a lot of chatter that the AG will issue his opinion on issues related to Speaker Craddick's claim of absolute power before the end of the year. The chatterers seem to think that Abbott will pour Craddick out on the issue of whether the speaker is an officer of the state (and therefore can only be removed by impeachment or expulsion). I can't see how Abbott can rule for Craddick on this point. Regardless of the importance of his position, the speaker is not an executive officer. Another key issue is whether the speaker can be removed after his election or whether the constitution grants him a full two-year term as speaker to run concurrently with his term as a state representative. I have written previously that this is an issue that ought to be resolved by the members of the House, not by a member of the executive branch. The same goes for any question of interpretation of House rules. I would venture a guess that Abbott will not attempt to interpret the rules. It is appropriate for the attorney general to interpret the constitution, but not the rules. That right belongs to the legislative branch. Whatever Abbott determines, the speaker's race will go on.

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