Judge Refuses to Dismiss Perry Case on Constitutional Grounds

Rick Perry Legal Team - AP Photo Jay Janner
AP Photo/Jay Janner

Judge Bert Richardson has ruled against former Governor Rick Perry’s motion for dismissal. Perry’s attorneys had asked Richardson to dismiss the abuse of power charge on the grounds that he was acting within his constitutional authority as governor of Texas.

The motion for dismissal claimed, “Texas Constitution imposes no limits on the governor’s right and duty to veto; he exercises unbounded discretion in exercising his veto power, subject only to the Legislature’s right to override that veto,” according to an article in the Austin American-Statesman.

The refusal to dismiss could set up a constitutional crisis, the defense team argued. “Nothing in the Texas Constitution or law permits the judicial department to scrutinize Gov. Perry’s legal decision,” the documents filed in September stated.

Richardson was recently installed as a justice on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals but decided to stay on the District Court bench for the conclusion of this case. The Court of Criminal Appeals could eventually hear this ruling if Perry’s team appeals Richardson’s decision that far. Richardson would have to recuse himself from hearing the appeal.

This is the second dismissal motion the judge has overturned. The prior motion dealt with a technicality in the oath of office for the special prosecutor.

Once again, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity is making impact on national politics. Perry is working hard to build momentum towards a potential 2016 presidential bid. The further along this case moves the more damage it does to his ability to raise money and build critical campaign team support.

It is likely that Perry’s team will appeal Richardson’s decision, causing additional delay in the possible trial.

Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.