DALLAS — Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt is known nationally for representing the families and victims of police brutality. Some of his high profile cases include Botham Jean, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.
Merritt says that would continue if he’s elected attorney general, and he says that office should be there to step in for Texas families and help them pursue justice if that’s not happening on a local level.
“I think our attorney general in Texas should be playing some of the same roles,” Merritt said on Inside Texas Politics. “Standing up for families where additional resources are needed, identifying prosecutors who are failing to uphold their duty of office and continuing to fight for families in that way.”
Merritt says he would also advocate for local control, allowing communities to make their own decisions, pointing specifically to mask mandates and school curriculum.
Watch the segment below:
“I think the attorney general’s office, number one, impacts almost every aspect of Texas life, but particularly for rural Texans, insuring that our schools are not only properly funded and protected, but that local control is protected,” the Democrat said. “Right now, the attorney general office has proven hostile to rural communities when they want to make their own decisions.”
Merritt also addressed recent questions raised about his law license in Texas. He doesn’t have one, but he says he’s working on it through what is known as “reciprocity,” which sometimes allows a person to practice law if they’ve been admitted to the bar of another state. Merritt is licensed in Pennsylvania. And he can practice law in federal court.
“That office is an executive position. So, I run a firm that will include Texas attorneys. I run a firm that will include cases focused on federal law,” said Merritt. “I’ve been proud to stand up for Texans over the years to insure their federal rights. I don’t do motor vehicle accident cases, divorce cases, criminal cases. It’s just not the kind of law that I’ve practiced over the years.”
The Texas Primary is Tuesday, March 1.