Ken Paxton

Paxton Impeachment ‘One-in-a-Generation Type of Thing,' According to Constitutional Law Expert

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121 to 23, Texas House members voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Throughout the four-hour debate, rather than innocence or guilt, dissenters spent their time questioning the process.

"The one argument I kept hearing, and the problem with it every time I heard it was, why are we rushing? We should take more time. We should move more slowly. But what I didn't ever hear in that argument, which I heard several times, was why?” said Constitutional law expert David Coale.

Coale said while impeachment may have looked different when it was last used in the 1970s, today’s fast-paced proceedings weren’t surprising.

“The House is designed to work that way. The House has a lot to do, and so it delegates a lot of the heavy lifting on everything that does to committees. It's why committee chairmanships are such powerful positions,” he said.

Coale said a formal notice of impeachment will be delivered to the Senate, which will convene this summer.

Meanwhile, Paxton’s out, suspended pending the results of that trial.

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It’s something that’s happened just twice before in state history, and Coale said is a heavy lift due to its reliance on bi-partisan support.

“It's kind of a once-in-a-generation type of thing, both to have this proceeding and to hear this kind of debate about what impeachment means in our Texas constitution. It doesn't get used very often, but it's really, really important. And while it's unfortunate, that you have to kind of take it out of the book and look at it every now and then, it’s very, very constructive for us to have that discussion and revisit that important part of our separation of powers,” said Coale.

While Paxton could now go to the Texas Supreme Court to request an injunction, Coale believes it’s unlikely he will.

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