Court Tosses Out Indictment of Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry

perry2I have long been critical of the indictment of former Texas Governor Rick Perry. Two years ago, Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Austin on charges of abuse of power. The charges stem from Perry carrying out a threat to veto funding the budget for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, which handles political corruption investigations. The charges have now been dismissed but I remain concerned that such charges were brought in the first place.

District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg had been arrested for drunk driving and was widely criticized for her conduct while in custody. She refused to resign even after been sentenced to jail and Perry carried out his threat. I have been critical of Perry in the past and I believe that his veto was wrongheaded. However, I viewed the indictment as deeply troubling on a separation of powers basis and the result of the extension of criminal provisions with tangential applicability to this type of dispute.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the actions against Perry was unconstitutional in limiting the veto power and that prosecuting Perry over his action violates “the separation of powers provision of the Texas Constitution.” It further found that the action infringed on Perry’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Here is the opinion: Ex Parte Rick Perry

64 thoughts on “Court Tosses Out Indictment of Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry”

  1. Lisa, The two are Rick Harrison, and Terry McEachen who were both convicted of DUI during Perry’s reign as our Guv. I have to laugh at your contention that Lehmberg was getting taxpayer money for herself, other than her salary. The GOP is the world champion at putting taxpayer money in THEIR OWN pockets, not to the office that they run. I suggest you go to the Texas Tribune web site to find out all the corruption the GOP and Perry and Abbot have engaged in with giving MILLIONS of dollars to their campaign contributors from various funds they control or oversee. One guy gave Abbott $260,000 for his use in his campaign and got $11 million for a project that had a bad review from the board, yet he still got the money. Another campaign contributor got $2 million without any review at all. THAT is what the Travis County DA was looking into when Perry cut off the funds.

    The GOP says one thing and does the exact opposite in FACT. Two examples are the taking of land from private farmers for private gain of oil pipelines. The GOP passed a Constitutional amendment to prohibit eminent domain being used to profit private interests, but had an escape clause which said, it is OK for oil and gas interests. Just as the GOP vowed to crack down on “sanctuary cities”, but there are NONE in Texas. Then they refused to even allow out of committee a law to mandate E-Verify for all Texas businesses which would have done FAR more to curb illegals than anything. Of course, most of the GOP donors are the very ones who hire illegals at low wages. They love illegals, but they want to keep them illegal so they can pay them less and drive OUR wages down.

  2. Randyjet –

    Rosemary Lehmberg is not a Republican, she’s a Democrat.

    Can you please name the other two DA’s you claim got arrested for DWI?

  3. steve, A fact is that the DA is NOT the top civil position in Travis County. It is the county judge, and our own county judge had a major DUI arrest and conviction, and still won re-election no problem. I think he may have even gotten MAAD to endorse him too.

  4. steve, Since she was drunk at the time, I hardly think it is how she behaves sober, but then we have the fact that there are over three DAs in Texas who did the SAME THING. Yet they are still on the job, and will probably be re-elected. They also did not have their arrest videos published on the internet either, PLUS the fact that they are all Republicans. In Texas we have one set of justice for Democrats, harsher, and another for Republicans, who get a pass. The prime recent case which Prof Turley has not commented on is the Texas AG who is on trial for felony charges. Abbott and Perry as Governors had no problem with Paxton staying in office.

    I doubt that Paxton will be convicted, though since his victims of financial fraud are wealthy folks and many people will feel that if you are stupid enough to trust a conservative Republican politician with your money, you get what you deserve. Though since his victims are also probably Republicans, he might have to do some prison time. One of the charges is that he stole nearly a quarter of a million dollars from a client. But that is just chump change for these folks. If he is convicted, it will only show the GOPers to stick to poisoning poor folks water, stealing their land, and cheating them out of their taxes as they give millions to their political buddies as Perry did with no problems. I think that such things as these items show a FAR greater unfitness for any office than a simple DUI.

    1. randyjet writes, “steve, Since she was drunk at the time, I hardly think it is how she behaves sober . . . ”

      I have a problem with this statement. If she were in her younger years, I’d give her a pass, but she’s not. She’s a mature adult in a position of high fiduciary responsibility. I don’t care if she drank enough to float the jailhouse: she was drunk and she was trying to deny it. If she’ll do it drunk, so too she’ll lie when she’s sober. Judgment is influenced by alcohol, but character isn’t.

      I don’t have any comment on the remainder of the statement, but if it’s true, it’s certainly disparate treatment and politics would seem to be the reason.

      randyjet writes, “steve, A fact is that the DA is NOT the top civil position in Travis County. It is the county judge, . . .”

      We’ll have to disagree on this. The judge has no power over criminal acts unless the prosecutor brings his or her criminal complaint. The judge makes no plea deals and can only refer matters for prosecution by the DA, and it’s the DA’s choice whether to prosecute, not the judge’s. And it’s the executive branch, not the judiciary, that detained Lehmberg.

      As for corruption, I don’t think either branch has a leg up, although there are far fewer but better-vetted judicial officers than there are employees of the executive branch. From money and politics, sometimes a cancer emerges.

  5. Donald “No Trump” Duck writes, “Rick Perry. If I could buy him for what he is worth and sell him for what he thinks he is worth, I could retire a multimillionaire.”

    I’d sure like to know where he gets his eyeglass frames. I could gain a few IQ points with some of those.

  6. Squeek, Sorry. I don’t remember the post. But, it was I believe it was just one comment that was the proverbial straw, wishing ill will on the most even tempered, Darren Smith. She disliked Darren intensely. I mean, I understand people could dislike me, but Darren?

  7. @LisaN and PaulCS

    Mebbe she had an apoplectic fit and keeled over??? I can just see her sitting in a wheelchair in a nursing home somewhere with lockjaw and making weird gurgling sounds and drooling on herself. In other words, the same as she was here, just with lockjaw.


    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – Nick said she appeared on at least one other board after she left here.

  8. Squeeky and Paul;
    Maybe she’s giving advice to the RNC because they’ve become cantankerous lately. lol

  9. @PaulCS

    Nosey little me, I just wanted to read the post where all the excitement happened. I wonder if JT sprinkled a line of salt around the website to keep the demon from getting back in??? I think that, and maybe burning some sulphur would work. He may have to prick his finger, too. But it would be worth it!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – she was ranting and ranting and ranting and poof, She was gone.

  10. Hi LisaN

    Yes it does. That was one reason why I took a vacay from here, and the ‘net in general. I love a good argument, and arguer, but some people thought it was their job to disrupt threads to protect “liberalism” or “progressivism” or whatever. That person was just not honest in their argumentation, or their links, which often said the exact opposite of what they were supposed to say. IMHO.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. “Speaking of “witches”, do you remember which post it was that a certain old crone decided to hop on her broom and fly away???”

    Does her name start with an eye? It’s been like a vacation since she’s been gone.

  12. MoeLarryCheese; You do not have to be lawyer to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    1. Squeeky – I believe she was abusing either JT or Darren. It was an evening of rants. Been relatively calm since.

  13. Paul, That witch hunt in Wisconsin is appalling. Pure political payback for putting the greedy public unions in their place.

  14. LOL! This is what we’ve been missing, Squeek. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

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