Paxton Endorses Judges Over Election Fraud Concerns

Attorney General Ken Paxton
Attorney General Ken Paxton | Image by Bob Daemmrich/The Texas Tribune

The current election cycle is providing the Texas attorney general an opportunity to strike back against three of the eight judges who ruled against him in a 2021 case over whether his office could prosecute voter fraud.

Attorney General Ken Paxton recently announced his endorsement of three challengers in races for seats on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, claiming the incumbents in those races determined that “[a]nybody can cheat as much as they want in Texas.”

The three incumbents who are running for re-election this year, presiding judges Sharon Keller, Michelle Slaughter, and Barbara Hervey, were part of the nine-member panel of judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals who voted 8-1 in December 2021 to strip the attorney general of the power to prosecute election fraud cases.

The judges ruled that the Texas Constitution does not explicitly grant the attorney general these powers. Rather than the power being granted to the attorney general, the constitution designates the power of criminal prosecution in election cases to local district and county attorneys, the judges claimed.

Paxton disagreed with the court’s ruling, arguing that “Soros-funded district attorneys will have sole power to decide whether election fraud has occurred in Texas.”

“What’s going to happen? Nothing, nothing. And that’s what they wanted,” exclaimed the attorney general last month while speaking about the previous decision by the court, according to the Texas Scorecard.

Paxton is endorsing three challengers — David Schenck, Gina Parker, and Lee Finley — in their campaign for seats on the court, all of whom support returning the power of prosecution in election fraud cases to the attorney general’s office.

Although many disagreed with the court’s 2021 ruling, the judges have stood firm in their decision.

While speaking with The Dallas Express on Monday, Keller defended the ruling, arguing that the judges “followed the constitution.”

“We’ve been criticized a lot during this campaign for following the constitution, and I’m just trying to let people know what we do,” she added.

Similarly, Slaughter discussed the court’s decision multiple times and said the court’s ruling was legally sound.

“For there to be constant misinformation about the court, about the judges, about our opinion, and just such egregious misinformation, I just got really fed up with it,” she said, per The Texas Tribune.

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