Texas AG Ordered to Appear Before Federal Judge on Possible Contempt Charge

Ken Paxton
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been ordered to appear before a federal judge in San Antonio, Texas, and answer why he should not be held in contempt of court. The appearance order stems from a possible violation of a court order prohibiting enforcement of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage.

Paxton, who is facing his own legal issues in connection with three felony indictments related to securities fraud, has been ordered to appear before the court along with Kirk Cole, a top Texas health department official, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Texas officials refused to change the marriage status on a death certificate of a same-sex couple who were previously married in the state of New Mexico. The death certificate lists the deceased, James Stone-Hoskins as a single person and his surviving partner, John Allen Stone-Hoskins as “his significant other,” the Statesman reported.

The Attorney General’s Office advised Cole, who serves as interim commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services on the matter of the death certificate, the lawsuit claims. Hours later, Judge Orlando Garcia issued an order for the state to amend the death certificate. In his order of July 7, Garcia directed the defendants (the State of Texas) to not enforce any Texas law that prohibits or fails to recognize same-sex marriage.

In Judge Garcia’s order today, attached below, he orders Cole to immediately issue an amended death certificate for James Stone-Hoskins specifying that John Allen Stone-Hoskins is the surviving spouse of James Stone-Hoskins. He also ordered that the state fully recognize the out of state marriage of the two.

The hearing is set for August 12, at 10:00 a.m. in the John H. Wood Federal Courthouse in San Antonio.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office declined to respond to a request for comment from Breitbart Texas. A spokesperson for the office said they were aware of the court’s order and will be filing a response with the court.

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.

Contempt of Court Hearing Order