Texas will seek damages from vexatively litigans suing the state for failing to honor their promises not to sue them for defamation, a federal judge said Friday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in San Antonio said in a separate order that it was “reasonably certain” that Texas officials did not comply with the promise not to seek defamation damages.
It added that the state has not provided any reason why it would be unable to do so.
The ruling by U.P. Judge Michael Gee in Texas comes after the state announced earlier this year that it would not seek damages against Texas officials for defamation because of a court order.
That ruling followed a defamation lawsuit filed by the Associated Press that was later dismissed by a Texas court.
A lawyer for the Texas Attorney General’s Office told the court in a response filed Friday that the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights “has repeatedly advised the state that it must take action to ensure that it follows its legal obligations to protect the rights of the public.”
A spokeswoman for Texas Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton said the state would continue to defend itself against defamation claims and the court order “and continue to enforce Texas laws to protect people and property.”