Image of the Day
The last of Rick Perry’s legal troubles ended on Wednesday (right?), and he celebrated right where the journey began. As the saying goes, “Don’t fix a good social media meme if it ain’t broke.”
Never Surrender — Rick Perry is finally free from his legal woes. “The state’s Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday threw out the remaining criminal charge … signaling the end of 18 months of legal trouble,” writes the Austin American-Statesman. The charges of abuse of power, of course, came from Perry’s tussle with Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg, and his veto of the public integrity unity’s funding after her arrest/refusal to resign. “In Wednesday’s ruling, the court concluded that the Texas Constitution neither imposes ‘any restriction on veto based on the reason for the veto,’ nor does it ‘allow any other substantive limitations to be placed on the use of a veto,'” writes the Texas Tribune. Read all the details you want of the decision, but the following might be the best line ever: “Judge David Newell set up his concurring opinion by quoting Omar Little, an infamous fictional Baltimore stickup man in the HBO series The Wire: ‘Come at the king, you best not miss.'”
Feelin’ Good — With Perry’s saga having come to a close, that just leaves Ken Paxton as main elected official currently in hot water. But Paxton’s people are feeling pretty good after the ruling for Perry. Paxton’s lawyer said that the team is “analyzing the opinion [of Perry’s ruling] and are optimistic that portions of the ruling will be supportive of our position,” according to the Statesman. “Perry, like Paxton, sought to upend a criminal case before trial by arguing that a law was being unconstitutionally applied to him. And in both cases, prosecutors argued that it was too early in the legal process to make such a claim because nobody can know how the law is applied to a defendant until a trial is held.” But as the process drags on, the Tribune looks at exactly how Paxton is paying for his legal fight, especially considering he’s got an all-star team. Politely calling it a “puzzle,” the piece breaks down the various, though limited, ways Paxton could theoretically be paying his legal bills, since soliciting for funds is mostly out of the question. It’s a fun game, and as noted, “However Paxton ends up bankrolling his legal team, it appears he’ll be keeping them in business for the long haul.”
Extradition — In the latest development of the newly reopened Irene Garza case, the priest who had long been the main suspect of the unsolved decades old murder is being extradited to Texas. It’s something of a twist, since it was expected that the former priest John Feit would fight extradition from Arizona. But on Wednesday, he waived that right, according to the Monitor. “In a phone interview after the hearing, [McAllen Police Chief Victor] Rodriguez said he couldn’t give an exact date on when Feit would be back in the Rio Grande Valley. When asked if Feit’s trial would be held in Hidalgo County, Rodriguez declined to comment but said he was glad the extradition portion of the process was over with.” In other words, the plot continues, if not exactly thickens.
Money Shot — A day after the lawyer for the man behind the Dallas sex expo said that neither he nor his client wanted to actually sue the city, he and his client have, well, sued the city. The city council had previously decided to ban the sexpo from the convention center (a discriminatory no-no), and the CEO behind Exxxotica had delivered a letter saying he’d hoped the issued could be resolved. But clearly not. “The suit, which claims the ban is unconstitutional, was filed in federal court shortly after the council adjourned its meeting Wednesday. It comes two weeks after a majority of the council voted in favor of the ban over the advice of Dallas City Attorney Warren Ernst,” writes the Dallas Morning News. “If just one of the eight council members who voted for the ban had asked for a reconsideration during Wednesday’s meeting, Albright would have pocketed the lawsuit until the next council meeting, when there would have been a vote to revisit the ban and, possibly, erase it from the books. That did not happen.” While it’s probably be in the best interest for all if the city and the sexpo leaders to come to some kind of agreement, this really is the story that just keeps on giving.