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Governor Perry Calls Charges Unconstitutional, Asks Judge To Dimiss Case

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Mugshot of Texas Governor Rick Perry. (credit: Travis County Sheriff’s Office)

Mugshot of Texas Governor Rick Perry. (credit: Travis County Sheriff’s Office)

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Governor Perry vows to fight every chance he gets. On Monday, his lawyers put it in writing. They filed a 60 page motion to dismiss the felony charges against him calling state statutes overly vague and unconstitutional.

But Dallas attorney Barry Sorrels says Perry’s legal team has an uphill legal hill to climb. “I have never seen a trial judge in my 30 plus years rule a criminal law statute promulgated by the legislature as unconstitutional. My prediction is this case is still going to go forward.”

The Governor’s attorneys say he had a free speech right to call for Travis County District Attorney and Democrat Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after police arrested her for DUI. When she didn’t step down, the attorneys also say as Governor, Perry had a right to threaten a veto and carry-out the veto of funding for her office.

But Dallas attorney Barry Sorrels said, “Yes, he has a right to veto, but does he have a right to use that veto to threaten and coerce another democratically-elected public official to do something she has no legal requirement to do, namely to resign?”

In the motion, Perry’s lawyers said, “Forcing Texas’ head of state to stand trial on charges of violating provisions that are clearly unconstitutional as applied to any Governor would have the same deleterious impact on the efficient operation of state government, now and in the future.”

Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert is among those who sharply criticizes the charges. “For the prosecutor’s sake, he better have more than just the Governor using his veto power which is discretionary and absolute,” he said.

But Democratic State Representative Roberto Alonzo of Dallas believes the Governor has to answer the indictment. “We can not abuse the process. We go to respect it. Here is a jury, here is a legislature, a governor. We have a constitution and just as the Governor likes to say, we’re going to honor the constitution.”

Dallas attorney Barry Sorrels thinks the case will become an all-out legal war between Governor Perry’s attorneys and the special prosecutor, Michael McCrum of San Antonio. That’s because it will determine not just a legal outcome but, “Who’s going to be the next President of the United States, so everybody is going to be swinging from the floor. All the missiles will be coming out of the silos.”

McCrum has said he remains confident in his case.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack

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