Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing criticism for fleeing from two subpoenas related to an abortion access lawsuit that he was hit with in August.
The lawsuit, which was filed by several abortion funds and an individual abortion provider, is trying to block Texas lawmakers from penalizing citizens who traveled out of state to receive an abortion before Roe v. Wade was overturned in late June. According to court documents, the Texas attorney general was served with two subpoenas, “one under his professional title as attorney general and another addressed to him individually,” CNN reported. But Paxton filed a motion to squash the suits.
On Sept. 26, a process server named Ernesto Martin Herrara showed up to Paxton’s front door with the subpoenas in hand, putting pressure on him to accept the legal documents, but the law official refused to respond. Instead, Paxton ran to the garage of his McKinney, Texas home, hopped into his truck and fled the scene with his wife, Sen. Angela Paxton, an affidavit, filed in Austin’s U.S. District Court noted, according to CNBC.
“I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him. Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck,” Herrara wrote in the affidavit. “After determining that Mr. Paxton was not going to take the Subpoenas from my hand, I stated that I was serving him with legal documents and was leaving them on the ground where he could get them.”
After the news took the media world by storm, the 59-year-old politician logged on to Twitter to respond to the allegations. Paxton claimed he fled because he was being harassed for trying to “avoid a stranger lingering outside” of his home.
“This is a ridiculous waste of time and the media should be ashamed of themselves,” he wrote in response to a Texas Tribune article about the kerfuffle. “All across the country, conservatives have faced threats to their safety – many threats that received scant coverage or condemnation from the mainstream media.”
In a follow-up post, he added:
“It’s clear that the media wants to drum up another controversy involving my work as Attorney General, so they’re attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family.”
Twitter users slam Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for running away from the law
Twitter lit up all sorts of criticism after Paxton tried to defend his actions.
“Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, is on the run from the law,” wrote one user.
While Rochelle Garza, a Democrat who is running against Paxton for the attorney general seat in the November midterms, tweeted:
“Run, Ken, run!”
“Ken Paxton is a coward. He is running away from his felony indictments, his FBI investigation and now, nonprofits. And his wife is driving the getaway car. My name is Rochelle Garza and I’m running to uphold the rule of law –– not run away from it.”
Unfortunately, on Sept. 27, a federal judge granted Paxton’s request to dismiss the subpoenas after hearing his testimony. The law official argued that the suits were unwarranted because “none of the requisites for making, let alone enforcing, such a demand have been satisfied.”
Following the victory on Tuesday, Paxton released a statement condemning Herrara for his actions.
“Given that this suspicious and erratic man charged me on my private property, he is lucky this situation did not escalate further or necessitate force,” Paxton wrote. “As leaders across America, from elected officials to Supreme Court Justices, face unprecedented threats of politically motivated violence, I believe this type of behavior utilized by radical activists is thoroughly disgusting and should be met with swift condemnation—not championed in the media.”
You can read the rest of his statement below.
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