The buck stops with Texas judges. Whether it’s upholding laws passed by the Legislature or deciding cases that have an impact on our economy, education and public safety, Texas courts of appeals judges are critical to our state.
Texas is one of only a handful of states that elects all of its judges. That means every two years, dozens of judicial seats are on the ballot, and 2018 is no exception. A total of 80 judges sit on Texas’ 14 intermediate courts of appeals. 45 of these seats are up for election in 2018, in addition to three key races for the Texas Supreme Court and trial courts throughout the state.
The sheer number of seats can be overwhelming, especially because many Texans simply won’t vote for a judge if they don’t know anything about the candidates. All Texans must take these judicial races very seriously.
While many people think the Texas Supreme Court handles the majority of the important cases in our state, the reality is it only handles about 100 cases each year. That means the judges on the 14 intermediate courts of appeals court decide many of the most consequential issues that come before Texas courts.
The time to start learning about these critical races is now.
If you’re not sure where to begin, start with understanding each candidate’s judicial philosophy. In a recent poll, 74 percent of Texans stated that they were more likely to vote for a candidate who would strictly apply the words of the constitution and our laws as written. 53 percent of Texans said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who would legislate from the bench rather than apply the plain words of the constitution and laws.
Additionally, 58 percent of Texans cited experience as a judge as the most important factor in determining who to vote for in elections for judges, 53 percent cited endorsements by former Texas Supreme Court judges and 50 percent cited a candidate’s score in a local bar association poll as factors that made them more likely to vote for a judge.
Comparing the candidates side by side on each of these factors can help you determine who are the most competent and qualified candidates for each judicial office.
Each and every judge matters. Each and every vote for a judge has the potential to impact our state. Learn about the candidates, tell your family and friends to get out and vote for Texas judges and help us spread the word that good judges are critical for the future of the Lone Star State.