A Vote for a Stronger Judiciary
During the 87th Session, the Legislature passed a number of measures that require approval by Texas voters before going into effect. Two of these measures deal with issues TLR has long advocated for—improving the experience, competence and quality of Texas’ judiciary.
Having qualified judicial candidates running for office is critical to ensuring every Texan has access to a fair and efficient legal system, and to strengthening our economic foundation. While TLR continues to advocate for moving away from a partisan election system of electing judges, we believe these measures are important to ensuring the judges we elect are qualified to hold their important positions.
Proposition 4: Changes to Eligibility for Certain Judicial Offices
A vote YES supports making the following changes to eligibility for judges on the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal appeals, intermediate appellate courts and district courts:
- Requires candidates to be residents of Texas as well as U.S. citizens;
- Requires 10 years of experience in Texas as a practicing lawyer or judge of a state or county court for candidates of the Supreme Court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, or a court of appeals;
- Requires eight years of experience in Texas as a practicing lawyer or judge of a state or county court for candidates of a district court;
- Disqualifies candidates if their license to practice law was revoked or suspended during the experience requirement; and
- Applies these requirements to individuals elected or appointed to a term beginning after Jan. 1, 2025.
Proposition 5: State Commission on Judicial Conduct Authority over Candidates for Judicial Office
A vote YES supports adding a section to the state Constitution authorizing the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate and discipline candidates seeking state judicial office in the same manner as judicial officeholders.
The deadline to vote on these items is tomorrow, November 2.