This would appear to be the end of the road.
The state’s highest criminal court dismissed the remaining indictment against former Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday morning, apparently ending the case that started with his threat to veto state funding for a local prosecutor if she refused to quit her office.
A ruling earlier in the year by a state appeals court dismissed one of the two felony charges against Perry: coercion of a public servant. Perry’s lawyers challenged that decision, arguing that the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals should have also dismissed the abuse-of-power charge.
And that’s what the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals did on Wednesday. Two of the court’s nine judges dissented in that one ruling, while one abstained.
Tony Buzbee, Perry’s attorney, called the ruling a “long time coming,” and said the case should have never been brought in the first place.
“I said all along this case was foolishness and would be dismissed.”
Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor in the case, called the ruling “horrendous.”
“This is a situation where the Republican court carved out a special ruling to get Perry off the hook. It changes law for past decades and offers no laws for future courts to follow,” he said. “This is, from what I understand, a special ruling tailor-made for Rick Perry.”
Craig McDonald, executive director of Texans for Public Justice, the liberal-leaning watchdog group behind a complaint that led to the indictment, largely echoed that notion.
“A highly partisan court has handed Rick Perry a gift,” he said. “This decision is based on who Perry is rather than what he did.”
You could sort of see this coming when the case was argued last November, but it’s still a bit of a surprise. Clearly, there are limits to how pro-prosecutor this court will be, and Rick Perry joins Tom DeLay in being beneficiaries of that. I don’t feel like spending too much time thinking about it, so I will point you to the Associated Press, the AusChron, Trail Blazers, the Current, and the Press for more.