Author Topic: Rick Perry Indictment dismissed  (Read 1347 times)

Seriati

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Rick Perry Indictment dismissed
« on: February 24, 2016, 02:22:17 PM »
So in a call back to the extensive thread on the prior boards about whether or not it was appropriate to indict Rick Perry in connection with his exercise of the veto power, I'd like to point out that both charges have been ordered dismissed before trial by the higher courts of the State of Texas.

I found this summation by the highest court in Texas of the intermediate court's view of the charges particularly interesting in light of how the debate on this board previously flowed:

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Finally, the court of appeals addressed a broader concern raised by Governor Perry and the amici who support him. In their view, this is a case in which a defendant who will inevitably be vindicated has nevertheless been made to face criminal charges of dubious legal viability (and/or  politically motivated origins). In such circumstances, the eventuality of obtaining a favorable judgment at trial or on appeal will do little to rectify the harm the defendant suffers to reputation, professional standing, and the like in the meantime. They suggested in the court of appeals that inflicting such harms might, in fact, be the primary goal of those pursuing the charges. The court of appeals found itself bound by what it considered to be this Court’s holdings and said that such potential harms, “however considerable they may be,” are insufficient in themselves to provide a basis for relief through pretrial habeas corpus. The court of appeals rejected all of Governor Perry’s challenges to Count I and rejected a number of his challenges to Count II.

They pretty much acknowledged the charges were bogus, made for political gain and had no chance of being upheld, but felt they couldn't dispose of them pre-trial (the Texas SC felt otherwise and reversed that part of the appellate decision when it ordered them dismissed pre-trial).

And just to be clear about whether the use of the veto power was illegal, they had this to say:
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The governor’s power to exercise a veto may not be circumscribed by the Legislature, by the courts, or by district attorneys (who are members of the judicial branch). When the only act that is being prosecuted is a veto, then the prosecution itself violates separation of powers.
Which was fascinating, given the angst that idea seemed to cause.

I was surprised that, as Rafi had predicted, they did get extensively into the question of free speech in their opinion.

scifibum

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Re: Rick Perry Indictment dismissed
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 03:25:30 PM »
"They pretty much acknowledged the charges were bogus..."

That's not how I'm reading what you quoted, there.  The "they" who raised those concerns are Perry and the amici who support him. 

Was there something additional from the opinion itself that pretty much acknowledged that the charges were bogus?
And just to be clear about whether the use of the veto power was illegal, they had this to say:
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The governor’s power to exercise a veto may not be circumscribed by the Legislature, by the courts, or by district attorneys (who are members of the judicial branch). When the only act that is being prosecuted is a veto, then the prosecution itself violates separation of powers.
Which was fascinating, given the angst that idea seemed to cause.


It's important to remember that there was also the question of whether the threat to use a veto was illegal in this case, not the veto itself.  They've said that the veto itself can not be prosecuted, but did not say that the threat of a veto cannot violate the law.

The threat / coercion charge apparently fails because the statute was ruled unconstitutional on first amendment grounds, not because of a separation of powers issue.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 03:27:31 PM by scifibum »

Seriati

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Re: Rick Perry Indictment dismissed
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 04:23:20 PM »
"They pretty much acknowledged the charges were bogus..."

That's not how I'm reading what you quoted, there.  The "they" who raised those concerns are Perry and the amici who support him.
Yes, I should have clarified that the appellate court's contribution was that they couldn't fix that problem while acknowledging the harm.
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It's important to remember that there was also the question of whether the threat to use a veto was illegal in this case, not the veto itself.  They've said that the veto itself can not be prosecuted, but did not say that the threat of a veto cannot violate the law.
You should read the opinion, they did in fact say that the threat was not a violation of law as well.  Take a look at the section on free speech, they laid out repeatedly that there are many threats that are totally consistent with exercises of government authority that are inconsistent with the prosecutor's interpretation, including state legislator's threatening to pull funding, the lower court judge threatening to dismiss the case if the prosecutor didn't change their pleadings.  Take a look.
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The threat / coercion charge apparently fails because the statute was ruled unconstitutional on first amendment grounds, not because of a separation of powers issue.
Different parts of the issue, they found both that using a veto is not illegal (and the law can't make it say) and that making threats to use a veto is protected speech.