Texas Judge Not Issuing Arrest Warrant for Rick Perry

(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)Texas Governor Rick Perry attends the second Annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York, May 18, 2014.

A judge will not be issuing an arrest warrant for Texas Governor Rick Perry, allowing for the 2016 Republican Presidential hopeful to travel outside the Lone Star State.

Judge Bert Richardson announced earlier this week that he will instead issue a summons for Perry to appear in court, according to the Associated Press.

"Richardson said Perry will receive a summons to appear which has not been issued yet. It won't be until Perry's defense attorney and the state set a date for him to appear in court," reported the AP.

"It wasn't clear if Perry eventually was going to have to be booked, fingerprinted or have a mug shot taken. Meanwhile, the governor has tried to rally conservatives to his cause, saying the indictment is symbolic of government overreach," the AP report continued.

Last Friday, a grand jury in Travis County indicted Governor Perry on two counts, "Abuse of Official Capacity" and "Coercion of Public Servant."

The two-count indictment stemmed from an incident in which Perry threatened and then carried out a veto of $7.5 million funding for a state ethics watchdog group.

Perry allegedly used his veto power as leverage to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, to resign after she was arrested for drunk-driving last year.

"Texas governors have wide discretion to veto legislation," reported Patrick Caldwell of Mother Jones Magazine.

"But by publicly tying his veto of the unit's funding to his effort to push Lehmberg from office, Perry may have run afoul of state rules that prohibit coercion or bribery of public officials."

Many have called the indictment proceedings political, arguing that the grand jury was acting to derail Perry's prospects to run in the Republican primaries for the 2016 presidential election.

United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently said in a statement that he stood by Perry, calling the indictment "on its face, highly suspect."

"Rick Perry is a friend, he's a man of integrity – I am proud to stand with Rick Perry," stated Cruz last weekend.

The editorial board of the Washington Post, an entity critical of Perry views and policy, came to his defense in a column published this week.

"The indictment contends that vetoing funding for Ms. Lehmberg's unit violated a Texas 'abuse of official capacity' law against the knowing 'misuse' of government funds with intent to 'harm another'," wrote the board.

"Even more implausibly, the indictment characterizes the mere threat of a veto as 'coercion of a public servant,' even though the relevant law pretty clearly wasn't intended to cover a governor's exercise of his constitutional powers. By the weird logic of the indictment, Mr. Perry would have been in the clear if he had simply vetoed the funding without threatening to do so first."

The New York Times editorial board, also a strong critic of Perry, also found fault with the indictment.

Free to leave the state, Perry is scheduled to make appearances in South Carolina later this month and in Iowa at the start of September.