The following article puts forward thought-provoking perspective on judicial races. While there are identifiable players within the traditional political establishment, the article says “This culture of big-money bench manipulation inevitably seeps into appeals- and district-court races…”
Absolutely true, but the public needs to understand how local legal industry efforts also get into this action to ensure having “reliable” judges presiding over the courts in which they appear.
And this local legal industry influence favoring the connected, the cronies — many abusive probate cases not only come, but thrive, thanks to exactly this environment.
The public is routinely conned by the popularity contest aspects of these races to not understand being used as pawns or dupes. The average voter probably fails to also understand that with this system, choosing a connected lawyer – not having a meritorious case – can be the real determinant factor in legal action outcomes. The system works great so long as it’s understood that justice isn’t the issue, it’s “pay to play” and legal gamesmanship.
Dan Patrick isn’t the only one seeking to change how we select judges in Texas.
“Freshman state Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, is an attorney who has been frustrated for years by this state’s hyper-political process for selecting judges (and the big money that flows into those races), and he was tempted to prescribe a specific remedy during his first legislative session.
Rodriguez is a political realist, however, and he knows that any attempt to reduce the partisanship in our political system will itself be perceived as a partisan act. So he took a different course.
Rodriguez filed legislation Thursday that would create a bipartisan interim committee to study all options for improving the selection of state appellate and district judges. The committee would consist of five senators and five representatives and present its recommendations to the Lege at the beginning of the 2015 legislative session.
“I had a little bit of heartburn over this (bill), because I’m not the kind of guy who likes to study the life out of things,” Rodriguez said. “But realistically, this had the best chance of passing, and it starts the dialogue.”
Money in judicial races isn’t about partisanship
March 16, 2013
Off the Kuff