“How many new ways can Texas AG Ken Paxton find to disrespect the rule of law?” is the title of a piece by the Editorial Board of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and it’s a damn good question, one that the rest of us would very much like to know the answer to. Paxton recently went on Mike Lindell’s far right internet show and suggested that the judges who ruled in Texas that Paxton could not unilaterally prosecute voter fraud were wrong. He asked Lindell’s audience to harass the judges. This does not play well with the editorial board of this paper or with sane and law abiding Americans anywhere. Star-Telegram:
Paxton lost a major case before the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s ultimate arbiter of criminal law. The all-Republican court ruled, 8-1, that the attorney general is not empowered to prosecute voter fraud. Paxton has asked far-right media audiences at least twice to harass the court and apply pressure to reverse the ruling, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
In doing so, he’s irresponsibly suggesting that the court — made up, again, of nine of his fellow Republicans — is part of a vast leftist conspiracy. “Call them out by name,” Paxton said on an internet broadcast hosted by pillow magnate Mike Lindell. “I mean, you can look them up. … Call them, send mail, send email.”
The AG has a reasonable legal disagreement with the court’s ruling. But he also really likes pretending he’s striking great blows against a vast network of voter fraud that does not exist.
It’s dangerous and inappropriate to sic political supporters on judges. We don’t make case law based on mob passion or political majority.
It’s fine to protest a ruling, argue to overturn it and even work to defeat the responsible judges at the ballot box. But Paxton, as he often does, sloppily went too far. And for what? His multimillion-dollar election fraud unit closed just three cases last year and opened seven more, the Houston Chronicle found. If Paxton really thinks voter fraud is rampant, he should thank the court for taking it off his hands, given that pathetic record.
This is the same Ken Paxton that was up bragging at Trump’s Conroe, Texas rally last night about his sensational track record of winning cases. Figures.
Also, one of the reasons that Paxton may not like this particular criminal court is because he may find himself in front of it soon in the role of defendant, with respect to his pending securities fraud case. As the newspaper notes, the optics of Paxton “turning a crowd loose on judges in that situation” are not the greatest.
But Paxton loves the Big Lie or he wouldn’t have been rubbing elbows with Lindell in the first place.
And while it isn’t surprising, it’s worth noting that Paxton has gone all in on 2020 election lies. In a recent appearance in the Houston area, the AG noted the expansion of mail-in balloting in many states to alleviate COVID-19 concerns and contended: “I know what was going on with these mail-in ballots. They needed to first figure out how many votes they needed for it, and then they looked at the mail-in ballots to change the election. And that’s what they did.”
Such claims have been dismissed by every legal venue asked to examine it. One should be skeptical of any conspiracy that would require so many participants at so many levels. Coordinating it and keeping it secret would be almost impossible. But then, why would we expect better from Paxton? He launched the absurd notion that the Supreme Court should let Texas meddle in other states’ elections. And he’s missed no opportunity to sidle up to Trump.
That is a true statement. We saw that last night. Ken Paxton is looking to get primaried in a Deep Red state, because however deep the shade may be, Paxton has broken the rules too many times. And Texas could conceivably end up with Louie Gohmert as its AG. Under any other circumstances I would say replacing anybody with Gohmert is going from the frying pan into the fire, but in point of fact, Gohmert could be an improvement, if Texans won’t do what is logical and elect the Democrat. Gohmert might not be so corrupt.
And I will stop hitting keys now, because when the time has come that I’m finding any occasion to speak of Louie Gohmert as a potential improvement on anything at all, the day has taken a turn for the uber strange. I may have to lie down.