Texas Attorney General Fights ‘Rogue’ County, Seeks Writ of Mandamus
Following the issuance of a marriage license for two women in Travis County this week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking a mandate that would invalidate the marriage.
"The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law," said Attorney General Paxton in a statement. "The same-sex marriage license issued yesterday is not valid because it conflicts with the Texas Constitution and State law—the license is therefore void ab initio."
Paxton is not attacking the marriage per se. Rather, he filed a petition for a writ of mandamus against Judge David Wahlberg of the 167th District Court in Travis County.
Wahlberg ruled sections of the Texas Constitution and Texas Family Code unconstitutional shortly after Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanna Bryant filed a suit, said the petition. The judge ordered Travis County Clerk Dana Debeauvoir to issue a license to the couple.
A writ of mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.
A stay on the ruling was issued shortly after preventing other county clerks from following suit.
The filing read in part:
This ruling may cause same-sex couples to seek marriage licenses across the State, and county clerks may mistakenly rely on that order to begin granting such licenses. If that occurred, the harm to the couples, state officials, and the general public would be difficult if not impossible to undo. Although this Court stayed the TRO, a clear statement is necessary so that all judges within Texas understand that this Court or the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of Texas law.”
State Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock said on social media that his office is preparing to "lead the fight to protect the Constitutional Rights the State of Texas holds under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."