The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
On Wednesday I had the honor and pleasure of participating in the oral argument in the Rick Perry case before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the state court of last resort for criminal cases). I was representing friends of the court, 19 academics, authors, ex-prosecutors, and ex-judges on all sides of the political spectrum—ranging from Professor Alan Dershowitz, Professor Nate Persily, Jeff Blackburn (Innocence Project of Texas), and former Texas Supreme Court justice Raul A. Gonzalez to Professor and former judge Michael McConnell, former attorney general Michael Mukasey, and former solicitors general Ted Olson and Ken Starr. I also co-signed the brief as a signatory, not just as a lawyer, so this brief does express my personal views.
As readers of the blog might gather, all this started with several blog posts I wrote right after the Perry indictment was handed down. A reader suggested that I do an amicus brief; I got in touch with my old friend Jim Ho at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and Prerak Shah, Jim and I wrote a brief before the trial court, which we then (with Bradley Hubbard) revised into a brief before the Texas Court of Appeals and then the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. You can read the brief here, if you're so inclined, and you can also hear both hours of the oral argument here (the first hour is about the veto count, and the second hour is about the threat-of-veto count).
I always hate to say how the argument went, in part because what people really want to know is, "who will win?," and I'm always hesitant to predict this. We should see within a few months.
This post also gives me an excellent opportunity to thank everyone who helped make this brief and argument possible:
- The amici, Floyd Abrams, Michael Barone, Ashutosh Bhagwat, Jeff Blackburn, Paul Coggins, Alan Dershowitz, Raul Gonzalez, Stephen Griffin, Dan Lowenstein, Michael McConnell, John Montford, Michael Mukasey, Ted Olson, Harriet O'Neill, Nate Persily, Ken Starr and Johnny Sutton (that's 17, but Jim and I signed on as amici as well as lawyers).
- My cocounsel, Pre, Jim and Bradley Hubbard.
- Laura Brill, Nick Daum, Allen Dickerson, Andrew Grossman, Sean Jordan, Matthew Kacsmaryk, Susan Klein, Paul Larkin, Paul Alan Levy, Dan Lowenstein, Jonathan Steinberg, James P. Sullivan, Hans von Spakovsky and Fred Woocher for their help mooting me for the argument, and to Tiffany Bates and John Malcolm for their help in setting up one of the moots.
- David Botsford, Anthony Buzbee, Thomas Phillips, and Evan Young, former governor Perry's lawyers, who agreed to cede 10 minutes of their argument time to me.
I'll say it again: It was such a pleasure, and honor, to be able to do this.