Texas Governor Rick Perry has filed for a writ of habeas corpus barring his prosecution for use of his veto power. The full filing is embedded at the bottom of this post.

Via KENS5 News:

Attorneys for Gov. Rick Perry have filed a 60-page writ of habeas corpus to dismiss the charges filed against the governor.

The writ claims the charges of abuse of power and coercion filed against Perry are unconstitutional and that Perry was simply exercising his constitutional veto powers when he vetoed funding for the Public Integrity Unit last summer.

“By seeking to criminalize not merely the veto itself, but the Governor’s explanation for it as well, this prosecution also violates the Governor’s rights under Free Speech Clauses of the United States and Texas Constitution…” the writ says in part.

The writ also says the indictment violates the constitutional separation of powers and the speech or debate clause in the Texas Constitution.

Here’s part of the Introduction summarizing that the motion is based on claims of unconstitutionality, reserving the right to move later on to quash the indictments on the merits:

This is a pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus seeking to bar the prosecution of Applicant, Governor James Richard “Rick” Perry, on multiple constitutional grounds. Some of these grounds relate to defects apparent on the face of the statutes upon which this
indictment was based, and they could be raised by any person charged with an alleged violation of their terms. As Applicant will demonstrate, Section 36.03(a)(l) of the Texas Penal Code is fatally vague and overbroad, failing to give reasonable notice to any official about what is permissible conduct on the one hand and what is felonious conduct on the other…..

In addition, both Section 36.03(a)(l) and Section 39.02(a) are vague and overbroad as applied to this case, and that is true regardless of whether they might pass constitutional muster in some other circumstances….

Even if the statutes under which the Governor is indicted were not unconstitutional on their face or as applied, the facts alleged by the State still fail on their face to set forth any violation of those statutes. Those arguments will not be addressed now, because pretrial habeas corpus is not the remedy for factual inadequacy, even when that inadequacy is as blatant as it is here. Rather, if this
case were to go forward, they will be raised in a motion to quash the indictment.

Rick Perry writ of habeas corpus.pdf