Dr. Steven Hotze’s News Release
Justice Devine Dissents with Texas Supreme Court Decision that Denies Citizens’ Constitutional Rights of Speech and Petition
Austin, Texas – This morning, September 1, 2023, the Texas Supreme Court denied a petition in Hotze v. Texas State Senate case requesting it to remove both the Gag Order in Ken Paxton’s upcoming impeachment trial and the Senate ruling preventing Paxton’s spouse Senator Angela Paxton from voting. This petition was filed by Steven F. Hotze, M.D., Allesan Paige Streeter and Honorable Molly White for writ of mandamus with the Texas Supreme Court (Case #23-0682) after their request for a temporary restraining order was denied by the 201st District Court in Travis County. Jared Woodfill, J.D., is representing the plaintiffs in this case.
In a dissenting opinion, https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1457021/230682d.pdf, Supreme Court Justice John Devine wrote, “I would grant the requested mandamus relief. As judges, we must serve as faithful guardians of the Constitution. When a matter is within our jurisdiction, ‘the Constitution does not permit judges to look the other way; we must call foul when the constitutional lines are crossed.’”
The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Rule 10 of SR 35 and the Gag Order, which prohibits state senators and representatives from discussing issues of the Paxton impeachment with their constituents. This is a clear violation of Article 1, Section 8 and 27 of the Texas Constitution that states, “The citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good; and apply to those invested in the powers of government for redress of grievances or other purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.”
The lawsuit also challenges Rule 31 that unconstitutionally excludes Attorney General Paxton’s wife, Senator Angela Paxton, from participating in the impeachment trial. Article 15, Section 2 of the Texas Constitution states that, “Impeachment of the…Attorney General…shall be tried by the Senate.” No exclusion of senators exists in the Impeachment article found in Article 15.
Dr. Hotze stated, “I applaud Justice Devine for his dissent in this critical case. A companion federal case is currently in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. I am confident that the Fifth Circuit will make the correct decision in supporting free speech and for the right to petition government officials for redress of grievances.”
Dr. Hotze added, “Texans must remember that Attorney General Paxton was overwhelmingly reelected to serve a third term in 2020. Just a few months later, during the final days of the Texas legislative session, a General Investigative Committee was formed by Speaker Dade Phelan. This committee had been meeting in secret during the session. All the testimony was hearsay. There was no sworn testimony nor witnesses. Neither Attorney General Paxton nor his attorneys were allowed to testify. The RINOs and Democrats, that form a Uniparty, worked together to railroad the impeachment of Attorney General Paxton because of his strong, nationwide conservative leadership, opposing the woke agenda.”
Dr. Hotze concluded, “I would encourage Texans to go to www.standwithpaxton.com and sign the online petition supporting Attorney General Paxton. I would also urge them to contact their state senators and ask them to acquit Attorney General Paxton from the impeachment charges, so he can get back to work, protecting Texans.”