Anti-Gay Texas Attorney General Faces Disbarment

The Texas Bar Association is stepping up to the plate to nail Ken Paxton for violating legal ethics.

After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal across the nation last summer, some red states threw a collective hissy fit over the decision. In Alabama, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered county judges to disobey the highest court in the land.

Texas Republicans also threw a temper tantrum, especially Attorney General Ken Paxton, who told county clerks to defy the Supreme Court ruling as well. “I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights,” Paxton vowed a day after the ruling came down. But unlike Moore, Ken Paxton could end up losing his status on the bar.

Because he told clerks to violate the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court, the Texas Bar Association has launched an investigation against Paxton for ethics violations.

The new investigation against Paxton comes on top of his indictment for committing securities fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 99 years in prison.

Houston lawyer Eddie Rodriguez said that the Board of Disciplinary Appeals is looking into whether or not Paxton should be disbarred, which would prevent him from practicing law in the state, provided being thrown in prison doesn’t do the trick first.

“Attorney General Paxton has a right to disagree with a ruling of the Supreme Court,” Rodriguez told Reuters. “Lawyers do that every single day. What makes a difference is that you cannot encourage people to violate that ruling and that law.”

Of course, Paxton denies being an unethical slug.

“This complaint has always lacked merit, and we are confident the legal process for resolving these complaints will bear that out,” a statement from his office said.

As usual, it will take time for the investigation to run its course before a decision is made, but it’s hard to believe a legitimate bar association would allow Paxton to continue being a lawyer since it is clear that he defied federal law and the order of the Supreme Court to let same-sex couples legally marry. If they don’t remove him from the bar, what does that say about the ethics of the Texas Bar Association itself?


Featured image from texasattorneygeneral.gov