The responsibilities, of the Office of the Attorney General, are to serve as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issue legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies, and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes.
The Texas AG sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.
Many Texans look to the Office of the Attorney General for guidance with disputes and legal issues. The agency receives hundreds of letters, phone calls, and visits each week about crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud, and other topics.
To find out more about the Texas Attorney General, visit the official website at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/.
AG Paxton’s Law Enforcement Round-Up
The Fugitive Apprehension Unit made several noteworthy arrests last week.
Jose Angel Negrete Jr was arrested in Austin on March 29. Negrete Jr had an outstanding warrant for first-degree murder issued by the Austin Police Department. During the past week, Negrete Jr allegedly shot and killed two victims, and shot and injured one of the victim’s girlfriend. Negrete Jr was also convicted of Burglary of a Habitation and Evading Arrest with a Vehicle in Hays County in 2018 and was wanted for violating parole. This arrest was made while working with the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in Austin.
Manuel Ray Vilchis was arrested in Austin on March 31. Vilchis had an outstanding warrant for Murder issued by the Austin Police Department. Vilchis shot his victim five times. This arrest was made while working with the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in Austin.
Matthew Stephen McClure was arrested in San Antonio on March 31. McClure had outstanding warrants for two Counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecency with a Child issued by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Biden Administration’s Failure to Take Custody of Criminal Aliens Endangers Texans, Americans
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today sued the Biden Administration in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas decrying its refusal to take custody of criminal illegal aliens, including dangerous felons and drug manufacturers, as required by federal law.
Texas’s lawsuit alleges President Biden implemented unlawful directives that allow dangerous illegal aliens already convicted of felony offenses to freely roam the United States.
“President Biden’s outright refusal to enforce the law is exacerbating an unprecedented border crisis. By failing to take custody of criminal aliens and giving no explanation for this reckless policy change, the Biden Administration is demonstrating a blatant disregard for Texans’ and Americans’ safety,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Law and order must be immediately upheld and enforced to ensure the safety of our communities. Dangerous and violent illegal aliens must be removed from our communities as required by federal law.”
When the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) incarcerates an illegal alien already convicted of a felony criminal offense, it informs U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
If the criminal alien should be deported when their sentence expires, ICE can send TDCJ a detainer request. Upon such a request, TDJC will hold an alien instead of releasing them into the community.
Following the Biden Administration’s memoranda, ICE rescinded several detainer requests, leaving TDCJ to either release criminals into the community or continue housing them at the expense of Texas taxpayers.
Read a copy of the complaint here.
AG Paxton Joins Amicus Brief Defending Second Amendment, Standard-Capacity Magazines
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a multistate friend-of-the-court brief before the San Francisco-based Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit defending Americans’ Second Amendment rights after California banned standard-capacity magazines for firearms, which hold eleven to fifteen rounds.
In the 41 states that allow them, these standard-capacity magazines are common to the point of ubiquity among law-abiding gun owners and their use promotes public safety.
“Banning magazines commonly used by law-abiding citizens is a blatant violation of the Second Amendment. California’s law must be struck down,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The right to bear arms is of vital importance to millions of Americans, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities. Criminalizing the mere possession of standard magazines not only flies in the face of the Constitution, but it strips citizens of potentially life-saving defense.”
The United States Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision clarified that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms that are commonly used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, including for self-defense or defense of “hearth and home.”
Because California banned magazines that come standard with many of the most popular firearms sold today, the brief argues that California’s law infringed its citizens’ Second Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.
Read a copy of the brief here.
Notification of Opinion
Official Request Summary RQ-0382-KP
Ector County’s compliance with chapter 387 of the Local Government Code, regarding the creation of a county assistance district
Official Opinion Summary KP-0365
Chapter 387 of the Local Government Code provides for county assistance districts, and subsection 387.003(b) establishes the boundaries for those districts. A court would likely conclude that subsection 387.003(b) required Ector County to include the City of Odessa’s extraterritorial jurisdiction in the Ector County’s county assistance district’s proposed boundaries.
Construing subsection 387.003(b-1) to require notice to a city only when a proposed district includes the incorporated territory of the city, the County’s express exclusion of Odessa’s municipal limits in its ballot language means that no territory of a municipality was included in the proposed district. Accordingly, a court would likely conclude that subsection 387.003(b-1) required no notice.
Neither statute nor equitable principles of law such as the contract with the voters or administrative action by the Texas Comptroller provide a basis to conclude that the District’s boundaries should exclude future land annexations by Odessa.
Notification of Opinion
Official Request Summary RQ-0381-KP
Whether a driver’s license is required to operate a golf cart on a publicly maintained road, as authorized by sections 551.403 and 551.404 of the Transportation Code
Official Opinion Summary KP-0364
Driver’s license requirement to operate golf carts on public road
Request for Opinion
Official Request Summary RQ-0402-KP
Whether access to a government facility can be conditioned upon obtaining a vaccine
Monday, April 5, 2021
The Honorable James White
Chair, House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety
Texas House of Representatives
Post Office Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910