Judge refuses to toss Perry case on technicalities

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Gov. Rick Perry in legal trouble 11/6
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Judge refuses to toss Perry case on technicalities
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, answers questions from the media following a hearing on felony abuse of power charges at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. An Austin grand jury indicted Perry in August. The charges stem from his carrying out a threat to veto state funding for public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry appeared in an Austin court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing regarding felony abuse of power charges he faces. In a statement following the hearing, he maintained his innocence. (Nov. 6)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry answers questions from the media following a hearing on felony abuse of power charges at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. An Austin grand jury indicted Perry in August. The charges stem from his carrying out a threat to veto state funding for public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry answers questions from the media following a hearing on felony abuse of power charges at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. An Austin grand jury indicted Perry in August. The charges stem from his carrying out a threat to veto state funding for public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, second right, listens as his lawyers Tony Buzbee, right, speaks and his other lawyer David Botsford, left, looks on during a hearing on felony abuse of power charges in the 390th District Court at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. An Austin grand jury indicted Perry in August. The charges stem from his carrying out a threat to veto state funding for public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner, Pool)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a Republican victory party Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
This image provided by the Austin Police Department shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry while being booked at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin, Texas, for two felony indictments of abuse of power on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Austin Police Department)
A group holds signsabout Texas Gov. Rick Perry as he leaves the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center after he was booked, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, laughs with his attorney David Botsford, right, as he is booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry has been booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, center, is booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry has been booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, center, arrives at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry has been booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, front right, is escorted away from the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry has been booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A supporter holds a sign for Texas Gov. Rick Perry as he talks with media and supporters at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center after he was booked, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, arrives at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center for booking, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry has been booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry holds a sign as he speaks at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression by publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, talks with his attorney David Botsford, right, as he is booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry has been booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, leaves the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center after he was booked, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2014, file photo, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks with reporters after a town hall meeting in Derry, N.H. McCain has scoffed at the indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on abuse-of-power charges, and has encouraged Perry make repeated stops in New Hampshire as early presidential campaigning begin. Perry is set to visit New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22-23, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, front right, is escorted away from the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center after he was booked, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Perry has been booked on two felony counts of abuse of power for carrying out a threat to veto funding to state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Pedestrians enter and exit the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. A judge has decided not to issue an arrest warrant for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a court official said Monday, meaning the Republican can continue traveling the country and gearing up for a possible 2016 presidential run despite being indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Pedestrians enter and exit the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. A judge has decided not to issue an arrest warrant for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a court official said Monday, meaning the Republican can continue traveling the country and gearing up for a possible 2016 presidential run despite being indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 concerning the indictment on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 concerning the indictment on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 concerning the indictment on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 concerning the indictment on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 concerning the indictment on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 concerning the indictment on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry bids farewell after speaking to the media after turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the media after turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the media after turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Bulverde residents Geri Ray (C) and Kaci Poindexter (R) with the Bulverde Republican Women, are interviewed by LeeAnn Walace with the media after Texas Governor Rick Perry turned himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the media after turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the media after turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry arrives to speak to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry emerges after being finger printed at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Supporters shout for Texas Governor Rick Perry as he speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry acknowledges supporters as he steps to the podium to speak to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 19: Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press before turning himself in to authorities at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on August 19, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Perry was indicted last Friday on felony charges of abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas judge refused on Tuesday to quash on technicalities two criminal felony indictments for abuse of power against Gov. Rick Perry, ruling that the potentially embarrassing case against the possible 2016 presidential hopeful should proceed.

The governor's defense team had sought to have the matter thrown out, arguing that the special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, wasn't properly sworn in and some paperwork wasn't correctly filed. But a written ruling from District Judge Bert Richardson, who like Perry is a Republican, sided with McCrum.

"This court concludes that Mr. McCrum's authority was not voided by procedural irregularities," Richardson wrote.

An Austin grand jury indicted Perry in August on charges of abuse of official power and coercion of a public servant. He's accused of publicly threatening, then carrying out, a veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors after the unit's Democratic district attorney refused to resign following a drunken driving conviction.

Perry made his first court appearance Nov. 6. He calls the case a political witch hunt and says he'd issue the veto again.

His attorneys have also sought to have the charges against Perry dismissed on constitutional grounds, but Richardson has yet to have a hearing on that challenge and isn't expected to rule on it for weeks.

The day before Richardson's ruling, Perry's defense team filed a 28-page brief asserting that the case shouldn't continue because Perry's actions were protected by the constitutional powers of his office. They also bristled at McCrum's past suggestions that the governor wasn't above the law in arguing that his fate should be decided by a jury - just like any criminal defendant.

"This invalid prosecution cannot go to trial - not because Governor Perry is above the law, but because everything he is accused of this case is absolutely protected," the attorneys wrote Monday.

Perry didn't seek re-election but is seriously considering a second White House run after his 2012 bid flamed out in a series of memorable gaffes. He said he may announce a decision by May or June.

Top national Republicans initially lined up to praise Perry and decry the criminal case against him, but they've been less vocal about their support as the case drags on.

In arguing that it should be tossed out because of technicalities, Perry's lead attorney, Houston-based Tony Buzbee, had repeatedly cited the U.S. Constitution and said it should apply to all matters, no matter how small.

"If you're going to take away someone's freedom, it's not too much to ask you follow the letter of the law," Buzbee said in Richardson's courtroom this month. "If we start picking and choosing which parts of the Constitution that we're going to follow, that's utter chaos. That's anarchy."

McCrum countered that he'd followed procedure and that a jury should decide the case. In court, the special prosecutor repeatedly referred to "Mr. Perry," rather than calling him governor.

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