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Texas Supreme Court, Place 7

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  • Gina Benavides (D) Justice

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    Jeff Boyd (R) Judge

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    Don Fulton (L) Attorney

  • Charles E. Waterbury (G)

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Biographical Information

Length of residency in Texas:

Occupation/main source of income:

Education (include all degrees):

Highlights of current civic involvement/accomplishment:

Highlights of past civic involvement/accomplishment:

Previous public offices sought or held:

How much funding have you raised for your campaign?

Who are your top three contributors?

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings or civil suits? If so, please explain:

Have you ever been involved in any civil lawsuits or declared personal or professional bankruptcy? If so, please explain:

What is an example of how you led a team or group toward achieving an important goal?

What judge or attorney do you most admire and why?

Why are you running for this office?

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

As a judge (if applicable), have any complaints been filed against you to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. If so, please explain the disposition of those complaints.

As a lawyer, have you had any grievances filed against you with the State Bar of Texas? If so, what was the disposition (unfounded, private reprimand, public reprimand, suspension, disbarment)?

What value do you place on precedent? What would motivate you to deviate from precedent?

How should the state make sure that the legal needs of poor and working class defendants are being met?

A growing number of Texans, from consumers to corporate general counsels, report a growing concern with the cost, effectiveness and fairness of mandatory arbitration proceedings. Does this concern you and how should the Texas Supreme Court and the State Bar address it?

How important are unanimous Supreme Court opinions? What would prompt you to write a separate opinion?

Writing is an important part of this job. If opinions are not clear, the public, including lawyers and lower courts, are left confused. How should voters judge you in this area?

Does the court have the right to intervene if the Legislature fails to fund key constitutional responsibilities such as schools, jails and highways? If so, how does the court enforce that obligation?

Some see this court as pro-business. Is that accurate and, if so, does it impact justice?

Does this court have a significant backlog? If so, what would you do to reduce it?

What is a reasonable length of time for the court to dispose of a plaintiff’s case?

Because Texas selects its judges and justices through partisan elections, you chose to run as a Republican, Democrat or member of another political party. What philosophies of that party led you to choose it for this race?

Do you support our system of electing judges in partisan contests? Or would you favor moving to a different system, such as one where judges are appointed and then run later in non-partisan retention elections?

The Supreme Court oath that all lawyers take requires them to say that “we will avoid the appearance of impropriety.” In light of that, how can judges justify accepting campaign contributions from lawyers who have appeared or may appear before them in court?

City/Town McAllen
Age 55
Campaign Phone Number (956) 821-4476
I have lived in the State of Texas my entire life.
Justice on the 13th Court of Appeals
JD, University of Houston BAA, The University of Texas at Austin
2014 Judge of the Year, Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas; 2012 Chair Award of Excellence, Texas Center for the Judiciary; Board of Directors, Texas Access for Justice Commission; Judicial Liaison, Texas Center for the Judiciary; Committee Chair, Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas; Planning Committee of the State Bar of Texas CLE; National Hispanic Bar Association; National Association of Women Judges; Hidalgo County Bar Association; Cameron County Bar Association; Nueces County Bar Association.
2007 Latina Judge of the Year, National Hispanic Bar Association; Chair, Texas Center for the Judiciary; Solutions Committee, State Bar of Texas; Minority Director, State Bar of Texas; President, Mexican-American Bar of Association of Texas; Vice-President, Texas Association of Defense Counsel; President, Cameron County Bar Association; CLE Program Director, State Bar of Texas.
Justice, Thirteenth Court of Appeals; Municipal Judge for the City of Palm Valley.
Jaime Gonzalez Amber Mostyn Joe Escobedo
Other than my divorce, I have not.
As Chair of the Texas Center for the Judiciary, I led the organization through a re-organization of the Board, Personnel, and Financial Policy. With a limited and restrictive budget, we were able to become more efficient and inclusive in providing judicial education for the judges of the State of Texas.
Justice Ruth Ginsburg. As the second female jurist on the high court, she has been a clear and strong voice in her beliefs. She has been an advocate for women’s rights and her career is full of firsts. She paved the way for many, including myself.
The Texas Supreme Court must have balance. My experience, leadership, and knowledge will bring that balance to the court.
I have the experience, leadership, and knowledge to do this job and do it well. As an appellate justice for the past 7 years, I have authored more than 800 opinions that establish a record of fairness. I have been elected by my fellow judges throughout the state to lead the judiciary in providing the best judicial education in Texas. I have been a speaker at more than 15 legal seminars, providing a vast knowledge and understanding of the law that is necessary for the Texas Supreme Court. I also recently won the State Bar of Texas poll, where I was the only non-incumbent chosen by my attorney peers in the Texas Supreme Court races.
Yes, when I was a municipal judge for the city of Palm Valley, I inadvertently failed to obtain all my necessary judicial education hours.
As an appellate justice, we are obligated to follow precedent, and I feel strongly that we should follow it. The changing of times, values, and the law would require a deviation from that precedent.
The State of Texas must ensure that the law is applicable to all parties equally, regardless of their economic status. The State must also ensure that our laws allow all persons access to our courts in order to remedy harms. Finally, and most importantly, we must adequately fund programs that provide legal services to the poor.
Yes, it concerns me. One of our constitutional rights is to be able to solve our differences in court before a judge or a jury. Encompassed in these proceedings is a due process right through appellate proceedings. Mandatory arbitration proceedings usually do not have these safeguards. As the system stands now, the only effective way to address these concerns is through legislative changes; to allow the Texas Supreme Court to make these changes would be a deviation from prior precedent.
Unanimous decisions are important because they can provide concise and uniform precedent that can be followed. I would write separately if the opinion did not follow precedent or the analysis was faulty.
The voters can easily judge my writing based on the more than 800 opinions that I have written. I strive to write opinions that are clear and concise, never forgetting their precedential value and the effect they have on the public.
The court serves a check and balance in legislative and executive branch. If those branches do not follow the constitution and law, the people should hold them accountable through the judicial system.
There have been several studies and articles which have reviewed the opinions from the Texas Supreme Court and have concluded that the high court is pro-business. Any bias from the court which shows favoritism towards any entity negatively impacts the justice system. The courts should always be fair, open-minded, and neutral.
The Court does not have a significant backlog, but the Court should be very selective of the cases it grants discretionary review over.
From the time the case is ready for submission, a reasonable length of time is 6 months to a year.
I have always been a Democrat because its platform has always been in line with my personal philosophies. However, as a judge, I take an oath to follow the law, and I do so regardless of my party affiliation.
As a judge who has sat through two elections and participated in an appointment-selection process, I support the election of judges. Until we have a system which is void of politics and money, our current system at least provides the citizens of the State of Texas the right to choose their judges.
As a justice who has been elected twice, I have never allowed those who have contributed to my campaign to affect my judicial opinion. There have been opinions that I have authored which have not been in favor of those who have given to my campaign and those persons continue to be my supporters. My supporters know that I will be a fair and just judge and that is why they support me.
City/Town Austin
Age 56
Campaign Phone Number (512) 637-8997
36 years (1978-present) (maintained residency while attending out-of-state law school, 1988-1991) Before that, 4 additional years in San Antonio (1971-75) and one additional year in Del Rio (1969-70), while growing up in an Air Force family.
Justice, Supreme Court of Texas, Place 7
Pepperdine University School of Law (1991) Juris Doctor degree, summa cum laude (Salutatorian); Editor-in-Chief, Pepperdine Law Review, 1990-1991; Winner of the Fall Individual Advocacy Tournament, 1990; Recipient of American Jurisprudence Awards (Contracts, Civil Procedure, Torts, Sales), American Board of Trial Advocates Award, 1991, United States Supreme Court Historical Society Writing Award, 1991 Abilene Christian University (1983) Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, Dean’s List; Student Senate, President of Junior Class; Recipient of various academic scholarships
American Inns of Court, Robert W. Calvert Inn; President (2012-2013); Officer & Counselor (2009-2012), Treasurer (2007-2009); Member (1992-1994; 2004-2013); Member Emeritus (2013-present) Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee; member (2003-2012), Supreme Court’s deputy liaison (2013-present) Texas Supreme Court Historical Society; member (2013-present)
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas; Board of Directors; Chair (2007-2010); Director (2001-2011) Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas; Board of Directors; President (2010); Officer and Director (2005-2012) Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas; Board of Directors (2004-2007) Brentwood Christian School, Austin, Texas; Board of Directors (1994-2000)
Approximately $790,000
Texans for Lawsuit Reform Vinson & Elkins PAC Ryan Texas PAC
No (not as a party)
I was privileged to chair the Board of Goodwill Industries of Central Texas for three years, from 2007-2010, after serving as a board member since 2001. Despite the economic challenges during those years, we achieved a multi-fold increase in services provided, individuals helped, job placements, stores opened, and funds raised and expended for services, all while implementing new efficiency measures and strategic initiatives for creating greater accountability to ourselves and the public, enabling us to expand Goodwill's mission and the impact on the people we serve.
The Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, Senior Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Secretary of State. I was fortunate to clerk for Judge Reavley for one year after law school, before beginning my legal career. He is a man of such great integrity that his colleagues often referred to him as "The Pope of the Fifth Circuit." He cares deeply both about the law and the people it serves, and he applies the law in individual cases in a manner that is fair and just. He is disciplined and dedicated, typically knowing more about the details of cases he decides than the parties do themselves. Yet he does not allow his personal preferences to dictate the results of a case, and instead upholds the rule of law in light of the statutes and precedents that govern the outcome.
It is a great honor and a great responsibility to serve the citizens of Texas as a Supreme Court Justice. As a member of the Court, I have the opportunity to help protect our freedoms by enforcing the Constitution, upholding the Legislature's policy choices, maintaining the role of the Courts within our system of government, and preserving the rule of law on which our freedoms are based.
My diverse legal experience includes 15 years in private practice, 3 years as Deputy Attorney General in charge of all civil litigation involving the State of Texas, 2 years as General Counsel and Chief of Staff for the Governor's Office, and 1 year clerking for Judge Thomas M. Reavley on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The variety of these assignments has given me unique insights and perspectives into the development, application, and role of the law and the judicial system as they impact the lives of every Texan. My service, both as an attorney and as a Supreme Court Justice, demonstrates my commitment to upholding the law and deciding cases based on the law, rather than on any personal preferences or agenda. My relationship with the Court's other Justices enables me to influence the Court's analysis of cases and, thereby, the application and development of the law through the Court's opinions.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, "the tendency of the law must always be to narrow the field of uncertainty." The role of precedent and the doctrine of stare decisis is to "narrow the field of uncertainty" by establishing reliable legal principles that provide predictability for the resolution of future disputes. The law must be just and reliable, and in most circumstances it can be just and reliable only when the Court respects its precedents. On rare occasions, a prior decision (or, more often, a prior line of decisions) may itself have created uncertainty, or may have been "clearly" wrong. Deviating from the Court's precedent may, at times, be required to actually provide certainty, or to ensure a correct and just result, but such occasions should, by necessity, be extremely rare.
The costs of litigation and legal services have barred the courthouse doors for many and have created a "relevance crisis" for our courts and judicial system. As technology develops and alternative methods for resolving disputes mature, we must rely on the same tools to ensure that every Texan has access to the justice that our constitution protects. Ensuring that the system provides "justice for all" requires a multi-pronged approach, including improvements to the system itself (such as cost-efficient e-filing programs and rule changes that promote efficiencies in the resolution of cases) and programs to assist Texans who cannot afford the representation they need. Most importantly, the Court and the leaders of the Texas Bar must do even more to compel Texas lawyers to fulfill their personal responsibility to ensure our justice system is accessible by all. Throughout my career, I handled pro bono cases as a volunteer attorney with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, and was privileged to serve as a board member and board president of that important organization. As a Justice, I continue to support these efforts through our Access to Justice programs.
I share many concerns about the increasing reliance on mandatory arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution methods, for a number of reasons. Arbitrations are mandatory, however, only if the parties contractually agree to make them mandatory. The U.S. Congress and our Texas Legislature have enacted statutes to promote arbitration agreements, and our role on the Court is to apply and enforce those statutes, as well as the parties' agreements. Often, the imbalance between the power of the parties, or the mere inadequacies of the contracting process, may raise concerns about whether one or both parties ever truly "agreed" to, or were even aware of, an arbitration requirement, and I agree with those who think the Legislature should explore that issue.
Generally, I think the Court provides greater clarity and certainty when all nine Justices agree on the outcome of a case and join a single opinion. But the Court resolves complicated disputes, and our opinions are intended not only to explain why we decided the case the way we did, but also to provide guidance to help avoid and resolve future disputes. Often, although all nine Justices may agree on the outcome a case, one or more may disagree on a particular reason for the outcome, or on how that reason might apply in a future dispute. Concurring opinions can be helpful in such circumstances, to provide insights and guidance to those who rely on the Court's decision when resolving future disputes. As for dissenting opinions, we each have a solemn responsibility to decide each case that comes before us, rather than just "go along" with the others on the Court just to promote unanimity. If one or more of the Justices believes the majority's decision is incorrect, a dissenting opinion that explains the reasons for the disagreement better serves the parties and provide greater transparency for the public.
It is always a challenge to address legal terms-of-art (like jurisdiction or immunity) and doctrines (like limitations or parol evidence rule) in a way that non-lawyer voters can easily understand. I strive to provide descriptions of the background and context in my opinions so that the issues, doctrines, outcome, and reasoning makes sense to both attorneys and non-attorneys. I continually work to improve in this effort.
The "Court" itself has no such "rights," but it has the responsibility and obligation to enforce the rights and duties that the Constitution protects for and imposes on others. If the Court determines that the Legislature has failed to fulfill a constitutional duty, it has the power to enter injunction orders, which require others to take certain actions or to refrain from taking certain actions. In some circumstances, the Court can enforce these orders by holding the persons in contempt. When contempt is not available, the Court may rely on others to accomplish the desired outcome, and at a minimum can make it clear to voters when legislators are failing to fulfill their duties.
The Texas Legislature has enacted many "pro-business" statutes over the past 25 years, and the Court has a constitutional obligation to apply these laws, as written, to the cases it decides. The Legislature has been decidedly "pro-business" of late, and any "pro-business" leaning that is attributed to the Court is due in large part to its duty to enforce these statutes. If these cases, if some believe there is an injustice, it is the statute, and not the Court's decision, that is "unjust." When statutes are not involved and the Court decides and applies the common law (court-made law), I have never observed the Court render a decision based on a desire to be a "pro-business" court.
The Court does not have a significant backlog. While, many years ago, it was typical for there to be dozens of pending cases at the end of the Court's fiscal year, the Court has essentially cleared that backlog, leaving only 11 argued cases pending at the end of August 2013. I expect there will be an even lower number of argued cases pending at the end of August 2014.
The necessary length of time must include sufficient time for each party to prepare and file its written arguments and to prepare for and present their oral arguments, and then sufficient time for the Court to research and analyze the issues and draft an opinion that adequately explains the reasons for the Court's ruling. In some cases, all of this can be done in a matter of months. But in the more complicated cases, particularly those in which justices disagree and need to write separately to explain the reasons for their disagreement, a year or more is typically required.
I am running as a Republican because the Republican party promotes a conservative approach to judging, in which judges understanding and respect the role of the Court to interpret and apply the law, rather than to undo the Legislature's policy decisions and change or write the law from the bench.
I made a commitment last year not to take a position on judicial selection reform until I have personally experienced an entire election cycle as a candidate. I am well aware of the deficiencies in our current system, including the appearances that often result from the required fundraising and the difficulties that voters have in knowing anything about the candidates, particularly in larger counties like Harris. On the other hand, the proposed alternative methods (non-partisan elections, appointment-retention elections, appointment by commission, etc.) each have their own significant deficiencies, and there is no “perfect” system. I lean strongly against any alternative that ultimately deprives Texans of their right to elect the people they want to judge their disputes.
I do not agree that a judicial candidate's acceptance of a contribution from a lawyer or party who may appear before the court necessarily creates an appearance of impropriety by the candidate, any more than a media outlet's acceptance of financial support or advertising dollars from a person or entity about whom the media outlet may write stories necessarily creates an appearance of impropriety by the media outlet. In both scenarios, there may be circumstances where the size or nature of a particular contribution could create such an appearance. Transparency and accountability are the keys to avoiding such an appearance and promoting confidence in the judicial systems. For these reasons, I have voluntarily agreed to comply with the limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act and I publicly and timely disclose the identities of all of my contributors and the amounts they have contributed.
City/Town Fort Worth, TX 76111
Age 67
Campaign Phone Number (817) 296-5015
Fax Number 817-870-1211
Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1950. I have resided in Texas my entire life except for time spent on active duty in the United States Army. I attended Pantego Elementary school, Ousley Junior High School, and Arlington High School (all in the Arlington Independent School District). I graduated with honors from both high school and from the University of Texas at Arlington. At UTA I majored in Economics and minored in Spanish. I was selected as a Distinguished Military Student, and also selected to "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities". I was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1972 and discharged as a captain in 1983. I graduated from S.M.U. Law School in 1976. I worked two jobs most semesters in law school while attending full time. I am a "dyed in the wool" Texan. I have broke and trained horses and competed on horseback. I have a love of bluebonnets and other wildflowers which is evidenced by my small collection of Cynthia Bryant original paintings and the numerous yard plantings of them. I have worked cows in a squeeze chute, cut a calf away from the herd, and spent many hours on a tractor. During my college years until the time I occupied my third office I worked many intensive laboring jobs, so much so that my work with a hammer caused my right forearm to be larger than my left, and it is so even today.
I am an attorney in private practice. I hung out a shingle upon graduation from law school and had to work another job for several years until I could get the practice to a point where it could provide a living. My first office was a one room rental in Arlington. I built my second office with my own hands. My second office was on Handley Drive in Fort Worth. During this period I became admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (1982) and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1983). I represented a group of parents of talented children against a juggernaut lawsuit styled Apple Barrel Productions vs. R.D. Beard et al., in which I won the case at both the District Court level and the Fifth Circuit with the formidable Bickel and Brewer on the other side. I also won a favorable settlement for a farmer whose land was taken by the government to build Joe Pool lake. While other landowners were pursuing a factually based theory that there was gold in the sand on their property, I directed the client to have his property cored and analyzed. We were then able to show that the sand was 23 feet thick in one area, thus making the property very valuable as a sand mining operation. I always said it was more beneficial to prove there was sand in the sand than to prove there was gold in the sand. I also was able to reverse the federal magistrate in a federal tort claims case, and cause the Fifth Circuit to set new standards for convictions of the mentally disturbed in U.S. vs. Abou-Kassem. Because I have always represented the underdogs and the individuals against the big companies and the well-heeled, I have not made a lot of money in the practice of law, but I have helped a multitude of people. I have an affinity for Hispanics and am a member of a local LULAC council. The majority of my current practice falls in categories of Family Law, Immigration Law (including asylum), and Real Estate Litigation. I have practiced in the courts of at least 34 counties around the state, from Hutchison County in the panhandle to Val Verde County along the border, and San Augustine County on the Louisiana border to Midland County in the west. I have practiced in at least three Texas Courts of Appeal, the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and the United State Supreme Court, being admitted there in 1996.
Bachelor of Arts in Economics 1972 (with honors) from University of Texas at Arlington Juris Doctor Southern Methodist University School of Law 1976
Member of Lulac local council, spoke at the District Convention 2014 Currently have my own religious website which does not solicit or accept any contributions. Family membership in Fort Worth Botan
Taught Sunday school as a young man. Served in the United States Army Reserve from 1972-1983. Ran for City Council in Fort Worth. Attended political and community forums and discussion groups in the recent past, including, but not limited to the F.B.I. Dallas office community outreach, political meetings for select candidates of both parties. Longtime member of Fort Worth Botanic Society
Fort Worth City Council candidate.
No criminal arrests or cases. Last traffic ticket was many years ago.I got sued by a client in Justice Court over handling of a traffic ticket. He was awarded the same amount by a jury as I had offered him to begin with, a $75.00 refund.
See previous answer. No bankruptcies.
Outside of the Army, which was a long time ago, the only teams I have led were my employees and clients. The Supreme Court of Texas should never be a team, although some might accuse it of operating as a such a monolithic structure these days.
Judges: Maryellen Hicks and Kenneth Molberg on the Democratic side. Maryellen is the most gracious judge I have ever met, and I don't think anyone ever left her courtroom feeling mistreated. Kenneth and I went to law school together. I know him to be completely forthright and honorable. On the Republican side, my vote goes to John Neal in Johnson County and Brent Carr in Tarrant County. Both judges are strict on criminal defendants but great students of the US Constitution and keep open minds to legal and factual arguments.
I wish offer equal consideration to both sides in any legal dispute without prejudice or the appearance of impropriety. To do this I feel that we must break up the stranglehold that Republican Party has on the court. There are a good many well meaning Republicans who would vote with me if they knew me and my background. I solicit all liberty loving Republicans, Democrats and Tea Party members to joint with me in this endeavor. They truly will not be sorry they did. While it is an oversimplification to say that Libertarians are socially liberal but fiscally conservative, it is true that we believe that the government at all levels should be less intrusive into our lives, that victimless crimes should not be criminal, and that all of the bill or rights are sacrosanct.
My life experience, my legal experience, my wisdom and empathy for the common person. One must look at my opponent's resume for flip side of that coin. Statewide experience in law. Student of history. I don't owe any political favors. I cherish my heritage, which includes James B. Fulton, revolutionary War patriot, Robert Tuel, killed in action at Germantown, PA in the American Revolution, Levi Fulton, civil war patriot, my parents who both served as officers in the United States Army during World War II, dad as a B-24 pilot, mother as an Army nurse, and my uncle who retired from the U.S. Air Force and who served in the strategic air command and two tours in southeast Asia.
Not applicable.
Over 37 years I can think of 3, which were all determined to be unfounded.
Precedent is an excellent starting point for any analysis, because the arguments and briefs that established that precedent have done much of the analysis for us and give us a good grounding in the issue. However, it is rare that the exact same facts arise in any given case, so that a blind adherence to precedent is unjust. Strong motivations for deviation from precedent come from the United States and Texas Constitutions. You will find that, in a few cases in which a precedent is set, a constitutional issue might have been raised but was not.
I assume your question relates to criminal defendants, not civil. The current system is atrocious. While the office for which I am running does not deal with criminal cases, I note that most of those who are sentenced to jail or prison are represented by appointed attorneys. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any first world country. The amount of wrongful convictions is staggering. If you take the error rate in which rape convictions are being reversed based upon DNA analysis and apply that the all those cases in which DNA is not available or conclusive, then we have a huge number of persons incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. I think statistic will show that the onus of wrongful convictions falls most heavily on African American men, who are nearly always represented by appointed lawyers. This is not to detract from these lawyers. Most often they are sole practitioners, with little staff and no investigators, who are sent into battle with a District Attorney's office with over a hundred lawyers, police investigators, DA investigators, clerks and support staff. They are poorly paid so that, in an endless circle, they will never has sufficient support staff. You know who wins that battle. It would be of great help to pay appointed lawyers a living wage and end the insane war against drugs. I personally favor ending this plea bargain process whereby many defendants are convinced to plead guilty out of fear of something worse. If the DA had to try every case, maybe they would be more judicious in the ones they file.
It seems that all financial institutions and auto dealerships have an arbitration clause that it in fine print and without which they would not conduct business with the individual consumer. The cost can be extraordinary. I have one case where the arbitrator required $6,000.00 deposit for his fees from each side. Consumer transactions should not be subject to arbitration clauses unless it specifies arbitration under AAA consumer rules, which is a less expensive method. The only way for these organizations to address it is to encourage legislation to that effect. The Supreme Court should not legislate from the bench.
Unanimous Supreme Court decisions are basically saying that one side has no merit. This is actually a rare case, since the Supreme Court would not grant discretionary review if there were not an issue to decide. However, if you are asking about unanimous decisions on whether to grant review, I think it is important for at least one justice to be able to write a dissent.
Unconfused. I remember the old Army KISS principle, which was an acronym for KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. If you cannot keep things simple enough for the less educated to understand then you have failed to provide them with any confidence in your decision.
Your question lays a predicate which is not justified. There is no constitutional responsibility to fund those matters, at least not by the legislature. The legislature is a co-equal with the judiciary and entirely responsible for funding what it votes to fund. Neither the executive branch nor the judicial branch may direct another branch's business. County, school district and city governments are not co-equal with the judiciary, and may be subjected to whatever order my lawfully be imposed by the judiciary.
In my opinion the court is not pro-business, it is PRO BIG BUSINESS. IT IS ALSO PRO-GOVERNMENT. Citizens, residents, and small business stand little chance of success in this Supreme Court, no matter the merits. These elements feel left out when it comes to their chance of success in this court.
Any backlog is due to not enough work and too much play. Judicial employment these days seems to center around golf and politicking.
While I think most of petitions for review do come from the Plaintiff's side of the courtroom, the question implies not enough thought went into it. In deciding whether to grant review, 3o days should be sufficient. If review is granted, 3 months should be sufficient if there is no oral argument, 6 months if oral argument is granted
The Libertarian party supports the rights of individuals vis-a-vis the government at all levels. The individual residents and citizens of the state are the only rationale for the existence of government. As one facebook pundit put it Libertarians are the only ones who do not place a "but" after saying they believe in freedom and liberty. Both Democrats and Republicans are "big government" parties. Witness the explosion of spending, not matter the party in power, the only difference being who's ox gets gored. We stand for decriminalization of marijuana, which is not exactly the same as complete legalization, along with decriminalization of many other things. Private conduct between consenting adults is not subject to government regulation.
I would never support appointment of judges. However, once elected, I think we could have retention elections. I also favor single member districts in counties which have more than one judge at the District or County level.
They can not. Period. Please review the proposal I made above to amend the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. I think after the initial shock of being cut off from suckling, or perhaps just sucking, on the supply of campaign contributions, well intentioned justice would find such a rule to be a blessing.
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