Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, has been instructing county clerks across that state to disregard the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. To disobey the law of the land.
“How can that be?”, you say. “Isn’t he sworn to obey all laws? Isn’t that the oath he took when he was admitted to the bar?” Well, actually, no. At least not from what I can discern in the plain meaning of the words of the New Lawyer Oath of the Texas Bar Association:
I, _______, do solemnly swear to support the Constitutions of the United States, and of this State; that I will honestly demean myself in the practice of law; that I will discharge my duties to my clients to the best of my ability; and, that I will conduct myself with integrity and civility in dealing and communicating with the court and all parties. So help me God.
(Aside: isn’t it funny that this oath doesn’t mention Texas by name? Did they just take some boilerplate from the ABA and slap it on their own letterhead?)
So “obey” is not mentioned, and “support” could just mean something like “cheer on,” right? And “integrity” – well, what would a Ken Paxton know about that? Not so much, it seems. See, telling clerks that they should ignore a Supreme Court ruling is just part of a pattern of law-ignoring that seems to suit Ken’s personal style. Today I found this gem:
Special prosecutors will ask a Texas grand jury as early as this month to indict the state’s attorney general on first-degree felony charges for suspected securities laws violations, one of the prosecutors said on Thursday. A spokesman for Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican who came to office earlier this year with strong Tea Party support, was not immediately available for comment.
Now, if Ken didn’t love me, why would he be so generous to me with material?