A Texas judge on Tuesday refused to throw out the felony abuse of power and coercion charges against Gov. Rick Perry, in the first ruling handed down since Perry was indicted.

In a slew of filings since the Aug. 15 indictment, Perry’s defense team claimed the charges must be voided because special prosecutor Michael McCrum is acting illegally, based on technicalities in paperwork relating to his swearing in to the post.

At a Nov. 6 pretrial hearing, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee said McCrum did not correctly sign his oath of office, and took the bribery oath out of order.

“I don’t think it’s too much to expect that the rule of the law and the letter of law be followed if you’re trying to take away somebody’s liberty,” Buzbee said. “We can’t mostly follow the Constitution.”

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