Nobody will accuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of sitting on the sidelines during the pandemic.
After Gov. Greg Abbott banned abortions to free up resources for fighting COVID-19 — never mind that they’re largely done in specialized clinics and don’t require much protective gear — Paxton quickly swooped in to beat his chest. Any provider who didn’t stop offering the procedure would be “met with the full force of the law,” the AG announced.
When Abbott issued another order telling judges they couldn’t release people in jail on personal bond if they’d ever been convicted of a violent crime, even offenses years in the past, Paxton stepped up again, defending the measure.
And now it’s clear the ever-vigilant AG will pack up his briefcase and head to the courts yet again. This time, defending Texas Republicans’ argument that Texans are a hearty enough breed to cast ballots in crowded polling places during a pandemic.
Last week, a Travis County judge said people worried about exposure to COVID-19 should qualify under the disability portion of the state’s existing vote-by-mail rules. In a statement, Paxton fired back that the Dems’ request to expand mail-in voting somehow “diminishes voting protections the Legislature has made available to Texans with actual illness or disabilities.” An appeal of the judge’s forthcoming order looks imminent.
In case it wasn’t clear by now, Paxton’s more interested in using the law to protect Republican power players than his constituents. That may help explain why he could only scratch out a 50.6% majority in 2018 — even running as an incumbent in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide in more than two decades. Plus, it’s a safe bet the Paxton’s 2015 indictments for securities fraud probably didn’t help either.
Let’s see how this assclown fares in 2022.
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