If the report by James Clark at everythinglubbock.com is correct about the Lubbock County District Attorney making a deal with Texas abortion providers to not prosecute them for violations of state law, the concept of prosecutorial discretion has been stretched to a new length and to a point which makes a mockery of the Rule of Law.

According to the report, Lubbock’s DA Matt Powell cut a deal with abortion providers to not enforce new state laws in his jurisdiction which more tightly regulate the abominable practice. The broad nature of the so-called agreement is troubling to the extreme. If the report is correct, the agreement covers any Federal case that might be filed. That is agreeing to not enforce state law because someone might file a case at some point in the future. How is this type of open-ended, non-specific agreement good public policy? Should DA’s who object to capital punishment do the same in that area as cases are always being filed to challenge the death penalty?

Are some so blinded by loyalty to DA Powell that they refuse to see a single DA working a deal outside of the Legislative process to not enforce state law? The Attorney General has to defend state law even if he disagrees with it but now, a unit of state government, a judicial district attorney’s office can enter into agreements to not enforce duly enacted laws? No court order, just his personal decision?

The actions of Lubbock’s DA Matt Powell seem to establish an amazingly broad understanding of the concept of prosecutorial discretion – taking it from a case by case authority to one of broad public policy.

And one more thing: Exactly how is a district and county attorney in charge of making overall budgetary policy decisions for a county? Such is the job of commissioners; so I ask what complicity do they have in this deal?

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at www.PrattonTexas.com.