Texas State Bar Seeks Discipline Against AG Paxton for Election Lawsuit 

May 26, 2022 by Reece Nations
Texas State Bar Seeks Discipline Against AG Paxton for Election Lawsuit 
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the Austin Police Association on Sept. 10, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

DALLAS, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had barely any time to celebrate his primary election runoff victory before dealing with his latest predicament.

The State Bar of Texas filed a petition on Wednesday seeking discipline against Paxton for his role in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Paxton petitioned the Supreme Court in December 2020 to prevent the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from certifying their election results because of changes to election procedures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Joe Biden won all of those states, but Paxton, along with a coalition of Republican-led states, sought to deny the certification of their results over baseless complaints of election fraud and glitches with Dominion voting machines. Claire Reynolds, public affairs counsel with the bar’s Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, told The Well News that the association does not comment on pending disciplinary matters.

The Supreme Court denied Texas’ petition due to a lack of standing under Article 3 of the Constitution, according to SCOTUSblog. However, that wasn’t the end of the situation, as the Texas bar association seeks to punish Paxton for making “dishonest” representations in the case.

“[Paxton’s] allegations were not supported by any charge, indictment, judicial finding, and/or credible or admissible evidence, and failed to disclose to the court that some of his representations and allegations had already been adjudicated and/or dismissed in a court of law,” according to the text of the bar association’s petition shared with The Well News. 

“In addition, [Paxton] misrepresented that the state of Texas had ‘uncovered substantial evidence … that raises serious doubts as to the integrity of the election process in defendant states,’ and had standing to bring these claims before the United States Supreme Court.”

When The Well News reached out to one of Paxton’s attorneys, Philip Hilder, he declined to comment on the matter. The Well News received no response from the attorney general’s office by press time.

The petition seeks unspecified disciplinary action against Paxton for misleading the Supreme Court in the case. Texas’ top lawyer has been under bar investigation since at least June 2021, according to the Associated Press, and he was indicted on securities fraud charges prior to taking office in 2015, The Well News previously reported.

Paxton also was accused in January by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office of violating the state’s open records law by failing to turn over communications related to the Jan. 6, 2021, rally that preceded the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

Paxton will face civil rights lawyer Rochelle Garza in the November general election. 

Reece can be reached at [email protected] and @ReeceNations

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