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State attorneys general offer joint defense for Texas AG leadership facing censure

Texas First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster, testifies during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the southern border, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Associated Press/Photo by Mariam Zuhaib

State attorneys general offer joint defense for Texas AG leadership facing censure

A group of attorneys general filed an amicus brief last week in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s top assistant, First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster, in an ongoing case brought by the State Bar of Texas.

What is the State Bar of Texas alleging? The State Bar of Texas argues that Webster should be censured for his actions involving Texas v. Pennsylvania, a case urging the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily prevent Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin from certifying their 2020 election results due to election procedure changes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In its filing, the State Bar of Texas cited complaints that Webster’s pleadings in Texas v. Pennsylvania were dishonest and contained specious legal arguments, unsupported factual assertions, unfounded claims, and conspiracy theories. Similar complaints were filed against Paxton. The State Bar of Texas’s Commission for Lawyer Discipline tried to censure Paxton and Webster, but those allegations were dismissed. The bar then appealed the dismissal to the Texas Supreme Court, where the case currently stands.

What does the amicus brief say in Webster’s defense? The attorneys general accuse the State Bar of Texas of weaponizing the rules of professional conduct to limit the discretionary authority conveyed to the attorney general’s office by the state constitution. Additionally, they say the bar is attempting to undermine the will of the people who elected the Texas attorney general. The Texas Attorney General’s office says the case is purely motivated by political retaliation.

Which states were represented by the amicus brief? Attorneys general from 18 states filed the brief. Those states included Montana, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia.

Dig deeper: Read Addie Offereins and Emma Freire’s report in WORLD Magazine about tensions at the Texas border.

Johanna Huebscher

Johanna Huebscher is a student at Bob Jones University and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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