A Texas appeals court tossed one charge against Rick Perry but ruled that he must go to court to face a felony charge of abusing his power while governor.
The Houston Chronicle reported:
The former governor, who is running for the GOP nomination for president, repeatedly failed in efforts get the indictment dismissed by state Judge Bert Richardson. He took his case to the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin.
The 3rd Court agreed with Richardson that it was too early in the case to decide whether the first count against Perry, charging abuse of official capacity, was unconstitutional as applied to the former governor. It is a first-degree felony.
But the appeals court rejected the second count, coercion of a public servant, saying that the law on which it is based violates the First Amendment.
The bigger charge that Perry is facing in terms of his bid for the Republican presidential nomination is the abuse of power charge. In a Republican field that is loaded with scandal-tainted candidates, Perry is the only one who could be headed to trial while Republican voters are selecting their candidate.
At the heart of the case is Perry’s attempt as governor to use his veto power to withhold funding from the Public Integrity Unit in order to force a county district attorney to resign. Perry’s threat and abuse of his veto power has him facing a potential prison term if he is found guilty.
Rick Perry has gone nowhere in the Republican presidential polls, but after losing another appeal, it is clear that the former governor has a better chance of living in prison than in the White House.