Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a Motion for Rehearing with the Court of Criminal Appeals yesterday requesting it reconsider its recent decision to strip the Legislature of its power to assign the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) authority to prosecute criminal election law violations.
The Legislature granted OAG that authority approximately 70 years ago, and the Texas Supreme Court has previously and consistently said that this was consistent with the Texas Constitution.
The OAG’s ability to prosecute election law violations is a core reason why Texas elections are significantly safer and more secure than other states.
“The Court’s decision to suddenly remove our authority to prosecute election fraud can only empower dishonest campaigns to silence voters across the state,” Attorney General Paxton said. “This decision is not only wrong on legal grounds, but it has the effect of giving district and county attorneys virtually unlimited discretion to not bring election law prosecutions. Last year’s election cycle shows us that officials in our most problematic counties will simply let election fraud run rampant. I will continue to oppose this decision that diminishes our democracy and misconstrues the Texas Constitution.”
Contrary to the Court’s decision, the Legislature’s assignment to OAG of the power to prosecute certain criminal law violations does not unconstitutionally erode the Texas Constitution’s separation of powers.
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