A Texas judge has ruled that the Texas State Bar’s lawsuit against First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster violates the separation of powers secured by the Texas Constitution. In so ruling, the judge granted the Office of the Attorney General’s plea to the jurisdiction and dismissed the State Bar’s meritless and politically-motivated disciplinary charges against Mr. Webster.
The Office of the Attorney General argued in its motion that the Bar’s attempt to unduly influence the Office in the exercise of its constitutional powers is not only improper, but also violates Texas law. The specially-assigned judge, Judge John Youngblood, agreed, stating in his ruling: “[T]he separation-of-powers doctrine deprives this Court of subject-matter jurisdiction. To hold otherwise would stand for a limitation of the Attorney General’s broad power to file lawsuits on the State’s behalf, a right clearly supported by the Texas Constitution and recognized repeatedly by the Texas Supreme Court.”
“The State Bar’s politicization is an insult to all Texans who oppose the abuse of governmental power in pursuit of liberal political retribution. No matter how much the partisan activists at the Texas State Bar retaliate against me and my staff for working to promote election integrity, secure our southern border, and fight for conservative values, I will not back down,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I am glad that the Court dismissed these utterly meritless charges against my First Assistant and sent the clear message that I work for Texas, not for unelected bureaucrats at the State Bar.”
The Texas State Bar’s meritless lawsuits started with their assignment to an “Investigatory Hearing Panel” appointed by the Bar in 2021. Attorney General Paxton condemned this political attack at the outset, and was joined in that condemnation by Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who also decried the State Bar’s action as unconstitutional.