In issuing the Opinion in response to Lt. Governor Patrick’s unauthorized request, Attorney General Paxton exceeded the scope of the constitutional and statutory authority of the Office of the Attorney General. Attorney General Paxton also failed to cite in his Opinion either the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution or controlling U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Ignoring decades-old federal law to the contrary, Attorney General Paxton’s Opinion purports to empower Texas state officials to assert individual religious grounds for refusing to perform their official duties. In addition, Attorney General Paxton released public statements in connection with the Opinion that disparaged the U.S. Supreme Court and encouraged state officials to violate their official oaths of office.
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