On Friday, the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals dismissed one of two felony charges against former Gov. Rick Perry.
Perry was indicted on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of official capacity after being accused of threatening to veto funding to the Travis County Public Integrity Unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after she was arrested for drunken driving. She refused, and Perry vetoed the funding.
The court sided with Perry’s lawyers that the state’s law concerning coercion of a public servant “violates the First Amendment and, accordingly, cannot be enforced.”
It upheld the charge against Perry for abuse of official capacity.
The ruling comes as Perry is running in a crowded field for the Republican nomination for president. Perry can make an appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for the remaining charge.