© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Gov. Perry's Legal Team Files To Have Case Dismissed

Travis County Jail

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team has filed a constitutional challenge seeking to dismiss his two-count felony indictment.

In a writ of habeas corpus filed today, the governor’s legal team contends there are problems with separation of powers, rights to free speech, and say the penal code used to charge Perry is vague and overboard; that it doesn’t clearly define what is and isn’t permissible under the law.  

University of Texas at Austin School of Law professor Jennifer Laurin said this type of challenge has a very limited set of arguments.

"Regardless of the merits of the governor’s claims at this point, he has a very high hurdle to surmount in order to even have his claims heard right now," Laurin said. "I think that it will be interesting to see what happens here. We don’t have a lot of law to guide us."

Laurin said this effort is unusual because Perry’s legal teams asserts that a court cannot hear this type of criminal case -- one involving a governor’s veto -- because of a separation of powers and that he’s immune from prosecution. 

She said it has to point to how the court should not have had the authority to indict the governor. She said either way it will not be a quick process as there are likely to be appeals once a decision is reached.