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Houston Elects 19 Black Women Judges, so Texas Gov. and Legislature Move to End Judicial Elections.

2 min read

This is simply reprehensible:


“Voters in Houston, Texas, elected 19 black women to local judgeships last year. The new judges, all Democrats, have instituted wide-ranging reforms to the county’s bail system. Voters also sent Democratic judges to the state appeals court.
A few months later, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — a former Texas Supreme Court justice — suggested that he wanted to change his state’s system of choosing judges in partisan elections, citing concern about the courts’ independence. Abbott has also appointed several judges that voters rejected last year to seats on higher courts.
This year Republican legislators introduced a bill, supported by Abbott, that would have replaced judicial elections with a system in which the governor appoints judges, subject to Senate confirmation. Every four years, voters would decide whether to keep the judges in office through a nonpartisan “retention” election.
However, the bill would have ended elections only in counties with more than 500,000 people, targeting urban areas like Houston. That would mean the governor would choose judges in the state’s larger, more diverse counties, while rural, conservative counties could keep choosing their own judges.”

Democrats in the minority somehow managed to stop passage of the bill (my reading of the article does not enlighten me as to the tactics they used) so Gov, Abbot has set up a commission to “study” how judges are chosen, or, just as likely, to study how Republicans can more successfully subvert the will of the voters.

If left to the voters, ending judicial elections would almost certainly fail.

The author notes that Republicans in North Carolina tried to pass a referendum just last year to accomplish this but it was roundly defeated:

“Then last year, North Carolina legislators put an amendment on the ballot that would have ended judicial elections, which were instituted when the state constitution was rewritten during Reconstruction, and set up a nominating commission controlled by the legislature. But the people voted overwhelmingly against it.”

Just another example that shows Republicans do not support Democracy.

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