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AUSTIN (AP) — The felony case against former Texas Governor Rick Perry is now in the hands of the state’s highest criminal court.

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The former 2016 Republican presidential candidate didn’t attend a pivotal hearing Wednesday at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. A forthcoming ruling could determine whether Perry ever stands trial on charges of abusing his power before leaving office.

Perry has said the case dampened his short-lived run for the White House.

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His attorneys told the judges that the longest-serving governor in Texas history was within his right to veto funding in 2013 to a local prosecution unit. Perry did so after the Democratic district attorney refused to resign following a drunken driving conviction.

Special prosecutors say the allegations should be settled at trial and not dismissed before then.

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