Attorney General Ken Paxton asked his followers to harass Court of Criminal Appeals judges regarding a prior decision. That decision held that the AG cannot prosecute election fraud cases without permission from the local District Attorney. I previously wrote about AG Paxton’s call to arms here. It was an extraordinary call from any elected official. It was especially crazy since the AG’s office has filed a motion to reconsider. So, that decision is now pending reconsideration.
So, it is not surprising that a Texas lawyer, Michael Shirk, a former prosecutor for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, filed a complaint with the Texas bar. The complaint alleges AG Paxton violated attorney ethical rules. Clearly, AG Paxton did indeed violate various ethical rules. As Mr. Shirk said, it is sophomoric. Persons cannot contact judges while a case is pending. This is way beyond free speech. As Shirk said, how would this work if persons approached judges at soccer games or at a restaurant? We would all like to influence judges prior to a decision. But, simple civil rules prevent us from doing so. And, of course, if lawyers could start approaching judges one on one, then it would be “katy bar the door.” Judges would have no peace. And, justice would be seriously corrupted.
Paxton called on his followers to contact CCA judges in three separate interviews. He clearly knew what he was doing. See San Antonio Express News report here for more information.