The way is cleared for Judge Bert Richardson of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to continue presiding over former Gov. Rick Perry’s criminal case, under an order by the judicial region’s presiding judge.
The order was necessary to allow Richardson to rule on a pending effort by Perry’s lawyers to dismiss the case, because Richardson has stepped up to the state’s high criminal court since he first was assigned the case.
Richardson has overseen the Perry case since 2013, when he was a visiting judge who presided over cases in different counties. He won the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals seat in the November election.
Richardson since last year has been considering a Perry effort to dispose of the indictment on constitutional grounds. He ruled against Perry in November when he sought to get the case dismissed on technical grounds.
Presiding Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield of the Third Administrative Judicial Region on Friday signed an order assigning Richardson to preside in the case. The step was necessary to authorize Richardson to make rulings in the case.
It was Judge Stubblefield who originally assigned Judge Richardson to the Perry case, so I suppose the circle of life is complete. I had wondered before if Richardson’s election to the CCA would force his removal here, but as a commenter on this post noted, Texas law allows for this, and so here we are. We’ve been waiting on that ruling regarding the motions to dismiss on constitutional grounds for quite some time now. At least now we know that it will be Judge Richardson making that ruling.