Judge Rules Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Must Testify in Abortion Lawsuit

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A national justice connected Tuesday ruled that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton indispensable attest in a suit bought by a drawstring of nonprofit organizations seeking to artifact imaginable transgression charges against abortion providers offering Texan women entree to abortions retired of state.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman had antecedently quashed the subpoena earlier marking a U-turn connected the determination connected Thursday, tribunal documents (pdf) show.

Paxton, a Republican, allegedly fled his location connected Sept. 26 while a process server, Ernesto Martin Herrera, attempted to serve him with a subpoena regarding the lawsuit. Paxton said helium fled to avoid a “stranger” who was lingering extracurricular his location amid concerns implicit the information of his family.

The nonprofits who filed the suit person requested that Paxton clarify erstwhile statements helium made about the enforcement of Texas’s trigger instrumentality arsenic it related to out-of-state abortions.

They reason that his statements “chill their First Amendment rights to talk astir and money termination care” and “restrict their quality to facilitate out-of-state abortions, which is protected by the close to interstate travel.”

The plaintiffs successful that suit (pdf) are: Fund Texas Choice, The North Texas Equal Access Fund, The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Frontera Fund, The Afiya Center, West Fund, Jane’s Due Process, Clinic Access Support Network, and Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi.

According to an affidavit (pdf) filed successful national tribunal past week, Herrera arrived astatine Paxton’s location to service him with the subpoena to look successful a national tribunal proceeding but the lawyer wide “fled” successful a conveyance driven by his wife, authorities Sen. Angela Paxton.

Paxton disputed Herrera’s mentation of events, stating connected societal media that he had near his location to debar a alien who was extracurricular his house, and that “conservatives person faced threats to their safety” that person not been covered successful the media.

Epoch Times Photo Abortion activists (R) reason with pro-life activists (not successful image) successful beforehand of the Supreme Court connected June 26, 2022, successful Washington, D.C. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

“It’s wide that the media wants to drum up different contention involving my enactment arsenic Attorney General, truthful they’re attacking maine for having the audacity to debar a alien lingering extracurricular my location and showing interest astir the information and well-being of my family,” he wrote.

‘At the Eleventh Hour’

Judge Pitman had initially quashed the subpoena the greeting after Herrera arrived astatine Paxton’s location due to the fact that the subpoena was issued astatine the precise past minute.

But successful Tuesday’s ruling, the justice said helium had done so “on the presumption that counsel for Paxton had made candid representations to the Court astir erstwhile Paxton had been served and erstwhile Paxton was notified that helium was expected to be the hearing.”

“The Court took Paxton’s factual statements—that the notification occurred ‘at the eleventh hr and ‘on the literal eve of trial’—as accurate, candid representations of counsel, and those statements influenced the Court’s determination connected Paxton’s question to quash,” Pitman wrote successful the filing.

Pitman said the tribunal had besides “assumed Paxton provided full, close factual statements” but had aboriginal learned that the lawyer wide had failed to disclose “Plaintiffs’ repeated emails attempting to inquire arsenic to whether Paxton could testify.”

The justice besides said Paxton, a adjacent state of erstwhile President Donald Trump, has unique, first-hand cognition regarding how he volition enforce the Trigger Ban, requiring him to testify.

“The Court volition not authorisation a strategy wherever Paxton repeatedly labels his threats of prosecution arsenic existent for the intent of deterrence and arsenic hypothetical for the purposes of judicial review,” the justice wrote.

“Because the Court was forced to determine Paxton’s question to quash connected a precise constricted timeframe … and due to the fact that the Court relied connected Defendant’s representations arsenic close depictions of erstwhile Paxton had been served and notified of his expected testimony, the Court issued its ruling connected incomplete facts,” the filing reads.

Pitman gave lawyers for some parties until Oct. 11 to “meaningfully confer … to hold connected the particulars of Paxton’s testimony, whether by deposition oregon evidentiary hearing.”

The Epoch Times has contacted the Texas lawyer general’s bureau for comment.

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is simply a quality writer for The Epoch Times, focusing chiefly connected the United States, world, and concern news.