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Texas AG Ken Paxton Fled His Home To Avoid Subpoena in Abortion Rights Lawsuit

A white man (Ken Paxton) squints while speaking.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reportedly ran and hid from a process server trying to issue him a subpoena before ultimately fleeing his home entirely.

The Texas Tribune detailed the efforts of the process server, Ernesto Martin Herrera, in trying to get the papers to Paxton. Herrera says he arrived at Paxton’s home and was told the AG was on the phone. He said he’d wait. After an hour, an SUV pulled into the driveway and 20 minutes after that, Paxton finally came out of the house. Herrera called out to him and Paxton then “RAN” (all caps) back into the house. A few minutes later he “RAN” back out and jumped into the SUV.

“I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him. Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck,” Herrera wrote in a sworn affidavit obtained by the Tribune.

In a now beautifully ratioed tweet, Paxton accused the “media” of “attacking” him, and tried to claim that he avoided Herrera because he was “showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family” due to the “stranger lingering outside my home.” It’s hard to think of a less believable defense for the actions described here.

What makes Paxton’s behavior especially rich is that the lawsuit he’s dodging is over his attempts to prevent Texans from leaving the state to seek abortions.

A number of abortion funds, clinic systems, and abortion providers filed the suit in response to a trigger law banning abortion in Texas. Paxton is named as one of the defendants. The suit asks the court to guarantee that “the Trigger Ban cannot be enforced by any Defendant […] in a manner that violates Plaintiffs’ rights to freely travel, freely associate, freely speak, and freely support members of their communities through financial assistance, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and federal law.”

Gee, if only Paxton knew what it was like to feel the need to “freely travel” in order to protect one’s own safety and well-being. You’d think that would be something he’d want to protect.

(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.