Attorney General Paxton sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to take action to prevent federal interference in state-level criminal justice systems.  

Federal public defender organizations have increasingly gone beyond their congressional mandate to intrude in state and lower federal district court matters, frequently with the singular goal of preventing states from carrying out justice. This is especially evident in cases involving capital punishment, where it often appears that the organizations are more interested in advancing their ideological agenda regarding the death penalty as opposed to the administration of justice. 

These federally financed organizations have become increasingly brazen in initiating civil lawsuits against the states and state officials, clearly overstepping the narrow authority that Congress gave them. These efforts have also been to the direct detriment of states’ ability to punish offenders who have committed heinous, violent crimes. Given that federal courts have generally let this interference go unchecked, Congress should step up and prevent federal funds from being misused in this manner.  

The Arkansas-led letter states: “It therefore falls upon Congress to address this pressing problem. We strongly urge you to use all available means to clarify that federal funds may not be used to further the anti-death-penalty litigation machine that has waged a decades-long war against States with capital punishment. We further call on you to bar these federal organizations from accepting outside funds to further their abusive litigation activities against States. The ability of States to seek justice on behalf of their citizens ought not be thwarted by the unlawful commandeering of their citizens’ tax dollars. You can, and must, put a stop to this.” 

To read the letter, click here.