Texas AG Paxton under the Microscope

It seems fair to say that statewide Texas politicians of the Republican variety are having some legal troubles.

Some of them have led to full-blown legal proceedings, like former Governor Rick Perry’s pending criminal charge, the civil fine against Attorney General Ken Paxton from the Texas State Securities Board (for an incident that occurred before he was elected), and the criminal securities fraud complaint filed against AG Paxton by Texans for Public Justice (which goes before a grand jury soon).

Some have remained in the realm of allegations and suspicions, like current Governor Greg Abbott’s alleged misconduct with regard to the Texas Enterprise Fund when he was Attorney General. I’m not sure if any formal complaints are currently pending against Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick—which is not to say he hasn’t had complaints (PDF file) before—but he sure does know how to stir people up.

"SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 (Obergefell v. Hodges) - 26 June 2015" by Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (SCOTUS Marriage Equality 2015 58151) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Most recently notorious, I’d say, is AG Paxton’s official opinion (PDF file here or here), issued on June 28, 2015 in response to a request from LG Patrick, regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges and the Fifth Circuit’s order affirming that ruling in De Leon v. Abbott. Continue reading


Actually, It’s About Ethics in Lawyering

St. Louis County, MO prosecutor Robert McCulloch may be the subject of an ethics complaint over his arguably less-than-zealous presentation to the Darren Wilson grand jury. I like John Cole’s suggestion for how to handle the complaint:

I have an idea. They could run the ethics meeting just like he ran the Grand Jury. Just throw all the information out there and let them decide. And they could only interview the people who think he has done wrong. I mean, apparently that is how you run these sorts of things.

Cole kind of has it backwards—if they ran the ethics complaint the way McCulloch ran the grand jury proceeding, the Missouri State Bar would pretty much take McCulloch’s side, but I know what he’s getting at.