Prosecutors in the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton are asking the state's highest criminal court to overturn a ruling backing his push for a new judge.
Paxton's lawyers scored a win Tuesday when a state appeals court ruled the judge, George Gallagher, had lost jurisdiction by changing venue to Harris County in April. The Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals directed Gallagher to vacate all subsequent orders, including one that set a September trial date.
On Friday, prosecutors responded to that ruling by asking the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse it, suggesting the 5th Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction to make the decision in the first place. They also questioned the court's interpretation of a part of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure that Paxton's team has leaned on in its campaign for a new judge.
The prosecutors are asking for oral arguments before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Paxton's lawyers have been trying to get rid of Gallagher since he moved the case out of Collin County, where Paxton resides. They have refused to give written permission that they say is necessary for Gallagher to follow the case to Harris County.
Paxton has been fighting the charges for nearly two years now. He is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as attorney general, and if convicted, he could face up to 99 years in prison.
Before the judge dispute derailed the case, Paxton was set go to trial on Sept. 12 in Houston on the lesser of three charges he faces.