Two Republicans who are supposedly big on the law are facing some big trouble of their own.
This past Monday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed securities fraud charges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in federal court for “allegedly misleading investors in a technology company.”
Paxton allegedly raised nearly $900,000 for a company without first disclosing he was making a commission — and all while a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Basically everything was a big no-no, legally-speaking. If convicted, he could spend years in the slammer.
Remember, Paxton was also indicted in state court last summer for felony securities fraud.
What makes all of these fraud charges truly extraordinary is that Paxton is also one of the Republicans leading the charge against implementation of DAPA and DACA+, with oral arguments in the case scheduled to go before the US Supreme Court in just a matter of days.
To make matters even worse (for Republicans), it’s Paxton’s name right there front and center on the legal brief urging the Supreme Court Justices to side with Texas and against the Obama Administration. And, GOP Governors and Attorneys General from 25 other states followed Paxton’s lead and tied their reputations to him.
You’d think that with his name on one of the most consequential cases going to the Court in recent memory, Paxton would be focusing all of his energy on his case. But instead, he’s facing some pretty serious accusations about his own lawlessness — probably not a good spot to be in when you’re trying to convince SCOTUS of your own legal standing.
Paxton isn’t alone this week. Over in Kansas, GOP Secretary of State Kris Kobach — the anti-immigrant zealot who has lately been advising Donald Trump on immigration — is in trouble for giving false information on the Spanish-language version of his website that could possibly lead to disenfranchisement of Latino voters.
Kobach’s office claimed the differences between the English-language and Spanish-language versions of his website were “an administrative error,” but Kobach also has a history of trying to pin non-existent voter fraud on Latinos — or, “illegal voters,” as he has called them in the past. So call us skeptical about an “administrative error.”
The Kansas City Star did not take kindly to the news, publishing a scathing editorial calling Kobach a complete embarrassment and urging the state legislature to strip him of his ability to prosecute unlawful voting cases.
As for Paxton, his team told the New York Times that they had not yet had a chance to review the charges against him.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Texas lawsuit against the immigration executive actions next Monday. Probably won’t surprise anyone, given Paxton’s role in the case, that immigration lawyer David Leopold found the brief filed by Texas to be “misleading” while the Obama administration repeatedly pointed out that Texas got the law wrong.
Paxton’s lawsuit blocking DAPA and DACA+ is baseless and political – and the Supreme Court should rule as such. Then, he can focus on his own problems instead.