Gov. Perry ordered to be in court Oct. 31

Rick Perry
Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked Aug. 19 at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin.
Associated Press

By Will Weissert
Associated Press

Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make his first court appearance on Halloween as his defense team tries to quash the two felony counts of abuse of power against him on both constitutional and technical grounds.

The Republican was on a state economic mission to Europe and was granted permission to skip a pretrial hearing Monday in Austin, where state District Judge Bert Richardson set the next court date.

Perry was indicted in August by an Austin grand jury after publicly threatening — and then carrying out — a veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors. He promised the veto after the Democratic district attorney who oversees the investigative unit, Rosemary Lehmberg, refused to resign following her conviction for drunken driving.

The defense has since filed a motion, one arguing that the case is unconstitutional because Perry was within his rights to issue the veto.