Tablet Local

Nov. 4 preview: Statewide judicial races

Here’s a look at the contested statewide judicial races:

Chief Justice, Supreme Court

Republican Nathan Hecht (i)

Age: 65

Occupation and/or main source of income: Chief Justice, Supreme Court

City of your residence: Austin

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: justicenathanhecht.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: As a judge, I am fully occupied in public service. I am the senior Texas appellate judge in active service. I meet with legislators and leaders, professional and community groups, and newspaper editorial boards to encourage support for access to justice for our poorest Texans. In the 25 years I have served on the Supreme Court, I have worked to modernize and improve court procedures. As Chief Justice, I meet nationally with other states’ chief justices. I frequently speak and teach on the justice system as continuing education for lawyers and to increase public understanding. I am a member of the American Law Institute, which works to clarify American law. I am heavily involved in the work of the Cornerstone Christian Church of Dallas. I was proud to serve as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Judge Advocate General Corps, and was honorably discharged.

Past public offices you have run for or held: I was appointed Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 2013. I was first elected to the Supreme Court as a Justice in 1988, and I was re-elected in 1994, 2000, 2006, and 2012. I served as a Justice on the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas from 1986 to 1988, and as Judge of the 95th District Court in Dallas from 1981 to 1986.

Why are you the best candidate for this office? Experience.

What are your top issues? I want to make Texas courts more efficient and affordable for all. I want to work to ensure support for access to justice for Texas’ poorest citizens. I want to improve the courts’ technology resources so that filing and access to court documents is easier for parties, lawyers, and the public. I want to work to work to continue to solidify the Texas Supreme Court’s national reputation as a fair, just, hard-working, and efficient court.

Democrat William Moody Did not respond to questionnaire

Libertarian Tom Oxford

Age: 58

Occupation: Attorney

Residence: Fannett, Texas

Best contact: Email Oxford@waldmansmallwood.com.

Current and past civic involvement: Active in the Jefferson County Pro Bono Program providing free legal help to the poor. President Seabreeze Youth Soccer Program. Board member Spindletop Youth Soccer Program. Board member “People Helping People” providing charity help to low the needy in Southeast Texas.

Public offices: I have previously run for the Texas Supreme Court (unsuccessfully).

Best candidate because: The fundamental right to a jury trial has been quietly under attack in Texas for the past 15 years. I will work to return to the jury the job of making fact decisions. Judges has no business imposing their opinions on the facts in place of the jury. I am the only candidate that will fight to protect the jury system.

Other questions: I will defer on the other questions per your suggestion as these are primarily political, not legal, questions. I will note however my concern that the purported “border crisis” is turning our border into a police state. As a Libertarian I am very troubled by this trend. As a Judge I would look carefully at our Texas Constitution should issues related to this militarization come before me.

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6, Unexpired Term

Republican Jeff Brown (i)

Age: 44

Occupation and/or main source of income: Justice, Supreme Court of Texas, Place 6

City of your residence: Kyle, Texas

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: www.JusticeJeffBrown.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I am active in my church and with the Boy Scouts of America, I serve on the board of directors of the Texas Historical Foundation, and on the advisory board of LifeHouse of Houston (a Christian home for unwed expectant young mothers).

Past public offices you have run for or held: Justice, Supreme Court of Texas; Justice, 14th Court of Appeals; Judge, 55th District Court, Harris County

Why are you the best candidate for this office? The Supreme Court of Texas is the state's highest court for civil cases, and throughout my entire professional career my focus has been civil litigation. Over my 13 years of judicial experience, I have always fared well in the anonymous judicial-evaluation polls conducted by both the State Bar of Texas and my local bar association. I've also received three judge-of-the-year awards, including Appellate Judge of the Year from the Texas Association of Civil Trial & Appellate Specialists in 2011.

What are your top issues? My top issue is working hard to maintain the Supreme Court of Texas' nationally renowned reputation as a scholarly, well-respected court that respects and advances the rule of law.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I have made no decision about how many terms I might seek. I will leave to the people of Texas the decisions of whether to return me to office and whether to subject the justices of the Supreme Court of Texas to term limits.

(As a candidate for judicial office, I believe it would be inappropriate for me to answer the remaining questions.)

Democrat Lawrence Edward Meyers Did not respond to questionnaire

Libertarian Mark Ash Did not respond to questionnaire

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7:

Republican Jeff Boyd (i),

Age: 52

Occupation and/or main source of income: Supreme Court Justice

City of your residence: Austin

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: www.justicejeffboyd.org; vanessa@justicejeffboyd.org; 512-637-8997

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement:

American Inns of Court, Robert W. Calvert Inn (Austin): Member Emeritus (2013-present); President (2012-2013); Officer & Counselor (2009-2012); Treasurer (2007-2009); Member (1992-1994; 2004-2013)

Brentwood Christian School (Austin), Board of Directors: Director (1994-2000)

Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, Board of Directors: Director (2004-2007)

Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, Board of Directors: Board Chair (2007-2010); Director (2001-2011)

Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee: Member (2003-2012); Supreme Court’s Deputy Liaison (2013-present)

Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, Board of Directors: Board President (2010); Officer and Director (2005-2012)

Past public offices you have run for or held: None

Why are you the best candidate for this office? My academic and professional success confirm that I have the intellectual capacity to understand, analyze, and resolve the complex legal issues that the Supreme Court must decide. The diversity of my legal experience in private practice, as head of civil litigation for the State at the Attorney General’s Office, as the Governor’s general counsel, and as chief of staff of the Governor’s office gives me a broad perspective and unique insights into the role of the Supreme Court and how the law affects the participants and the citizens of our State. My extensive involvement in civic and community organizations demonstrates my compassion for others and a commitment to opportunity and justice for all. And my performance as a Supreme Court Justice over the past two years confirms that I am both capable and committed to serving all Texans, without favoritism to any, on their Supreme Court.

What are your top issues? As a judge, I do not campaign on issues or argue for the adoption of particular policies. I promote only what I believe to be the proper role of the judiciary, which is to interpret and apply the law rather than to create law based on personal policy preferences.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do not support term limits for Texas Supreme Court Justices.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? (No public position on this issue.)

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? (No public position on this issue.)

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? (No public position on this issue.)

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? (No public position on this issue.)

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? (No public position on this issue.)

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? (No public position on this issue.)

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? (No public position on this issue.)

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? (No public position on this issue.)

Democrat Gina Benavides Did not respond to questionnaire

Libertarian Don Fulton Did not respond to questionnaire

Green Party Charles E. Waterbury Did not respond to questionnaire

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8

Republican Phil Johnson (i)

Age: 69

Occupation and/or main source of income: Justice, Texas Supreme Court.

City of your residence: Austin.

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Website: www.justicephiljohnson.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Current: Church, legal organizations, Law School alumni and college alumni organizations. Otherwise, my time is occupied by the demands of my position, duties associated with it, and family. Past: Trinity Christian Schools Supervising Committee (Chair, 2 terms); Southwest Lighthouse for the Blind Board of Directors (Chair, 2 terms); Lubbock Area Foundation Board of Directors; Lubbock Legal Aid Society Board of Directors (Chair, 1 term); Commission on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Region I Advisory Group; Carillon Foundation Board of Directors; Downtown Kiwanis Club of Amarillo Board of Directors (President, 1 term); Golden Spread Council Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors.

Past public offices you have run for or held: I have previously sought and been elected to the offices of Justice, 7th Court of Appeals; Chief Justice, 7th Court of Appeals; and Justice, Texas Supreme Court, where I now serve.

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I am the best candidate because of my experience, my qualifications, and because “the proof is in the pudding.” My record shows that I have properly performed the duties of my position on the Court in an impartial, conservative manner, respecting the constitutional separation of powers between the judiciary and the other branches of government - that is, I don't legislate from the bench. My record is the best evidence that I will continue serving in that manner if re-elected.

What are your top issues? I am committed to continue performing my duties in an impartial, conservative manner, respecting the constitutional separation of powers between the judiciary and the other branches of government. Also, I believe the Court should continue to refine rules of procedure and evidence to meet developments in the law, continue to advance the use of electronics to expedite processing of cases, and continue to advocate for funding of programs that provide access to justice for all Texans, regardless of their financial condition.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do not intend to limit my service except as now provided by the Texas Constitution and law. I do not believe there should be term limits for the Texas Supreme Court.

The remainder of the questions do not seem to apply to candidates for judicial office, so I have not answered them.

Libertarian RS Roberto Koelsch Did not respond to questionnaire

Green Party Jim Chisolm Did not respond to questionnaire

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3

Republican Bert Richardson

Age: 58

Occupation and/or your main source of income: Senior Judge 3rd Regions, Adjunct Law Professor St. Mary’s Law School, Of Counsel LM Tatum PLLC

City: San Antonio

Campaign contact: Cell (210) 264-1710, judgebert379@satx.rr.com, http://electjudgerichardson.com/, https://www.facebook.com/JudgeBertRichardson

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: University and Local College Instructor 1995 to present. Frequent mentor of local college and high school students (including current State Bar President). National Mock Trial Judge for Annual Competition sponsored by St. Mary’s University. Staff Photographer - Inside Texas Running & Texas Runner Triathlete. Contributing photographer – State Bar Journal, ESPN/Dyestat, Letsrun.com, Runnerspace.com. Active in local church congregation, as teacher and public affairs committee member. Pro bono assistance in 2004 & 2008 to San Antonio/New Zealand Olympian. Guest Lecture UTHSC Department of Psychiatry on Expert Witness Testimony. Lecturer San Antonio Police Department Academy. Lecturer NISD Alternative Schools. Active in Booster Club and Sports Programs, including school sports photographer at Ronald Reagan High School 2002-2006. Assistant Photo Editor Yearbook BYU 1981-82. Church Mission to Argentina 1976-1978

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I am the only candidate for this position that is Board Certified in Criminal Law (less than 2% of lawyers are certified in this area). The Court of Criminal Appeals has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all death penalty cases. I have significant experience in death penalty litigation as a prosecutor and judge both at the trial level and post conviction level. I also have significant appellate experience at the State and federal level. As an elected judge in Bexar County I was consistently ranked at the top of local Bar Polls for knowledge of the law, work ethic and judicial demeanor. As a Senior Judge I receive a steady stream of judicial assignments for routine matters (both civil and criminal) and high profile cases across the State and have worked in over 40 counties in the last 5 years. As a judge I have never had a trial verdict reversed by an appellate court. I have taught law related classes at local colleges & St. Mary’s Law School for over 15 years.

What are your top issues? 1. Significant changes in scientific evidence in many areas that have exonerated several wrongfully convicted defendants. The TCCA promulgates rules of evidence for criminal trials and those rules should address these changes and the admissibility of such evidence. 2. Online filing of briefs and records to that court. Most appellate courts across the State have implemented this and I would work to do that at the TCCA. 3. Legislative changes in discovery rules, in light of the Michael Morton Act and exoneration. One way to do that would be to educate judges on these changes and the obligation the State has to turn over specific information to the defense. The TCCA administers funds that educate judges.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? At my current age I don’t believe I would serve more than 2 terms (this is a 6 year term). I believe term limits should be decided by the voting public, but I don’t believe it would be in the best interests of the justice system to place those limits on judges.

Democrat John Granberg

Contact Info: Tel. (915) 543-9000; Fax (915) 543-3201; Cell (915) 253-2091; granberglawoffice@yahoo.com; Facebook: John Granberg for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Previous offices held: 2006 candidate for Justice of the Peace in El Paso. It was a five person race and I can in third in the primary.

My background: I was born into a military family, so we traveled worldwide during my youth. My father was career military. He met my mother in Korea while on tour there in the 1970’s. My father ended up retiring while stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, after tours in Vietnam, Korea, and Germany. My younger brother and I traveled to Korea and Germany with my parents, being exposed to different cultures and different values. I graduated high school in El Paso, and went to college at Texas Tech University, receiving dual Bachelors Degrees in Philosophy and Communication Studies. I graduated from Law School at Texas Tech University in 2001 and thereafter began working in the District Attorney’s Office in El Paso, Texas where I gained an appreciation and taste for Criminal Trial Work. I struck out on my own in 2005, and was admitted to practice in Federal Court immediately. In 2008 I was admitted to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2011 I became licensed to practice law in New Mexico, and was likewise admitted to the federal bar there as well. The bulk of my practice is comprised of criminal defense on the state and federal level, in Texas and New Mexico. As a general practitioner, I also handle a wide variety of other casework including immigration, family, juvenile, probate, and some civil cases.

Why am I running for office? There are a million reasons I am running. I am running for my mom and dad, my brother, my fellow El Pasoans, and for all Texans. One reason I am running is to diversify the court. The demographics of Texas is changing, and I feel the Court should also reflect those demographics. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is a famously conservative court. None of the current justices on the bench have a criminal defense background. None of the current justices come from border communities. None of the current justices have the background in immigration law that I do. One of the responsibilities of the Court of Criminal Appeals is to assist in educating the judiciary. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme ruled in Padilla vs. Kentucky, that criminal defendants who are non U.S. Citizens have a constitutional right under the sixth amendment, to have their counsel advise them on the immigration consequences a plea of guilt will have. El Paso is the “tip of the spear” when it comes to criminal cases with immigration consequences. I have had numerous clients in criminal proceedings at both the state and federal level, that needed my expertise in criminal/immigration matters. As a Justice on the Court of Criminal Appeals, I would begin by expanding the judiciaries’ familiarity with these matters. Once the judges on the trial level become better acquainted with criminal/immigration consequences, they in turn will have higher expectations for defense counsel to properly advise their non-citizen clients accordingly.

My vision: Like I said the demographics of the state are changing, and I would like to see a Court of Criminal Appeals as diverse as the citizens of the state. I would bring diversity to the Court in the form of ethnic diversity, as I am a person of mixed race. I would bring diversity to the Court by my experiences in a military family. There are many thousands of Texans who serve in the armed forces, and many thousands more who are in military families. My experiences on the stresses military families endure can only enrich the Court of Criminal Appeals when cases involving our men and women of the armed forces and their families are in some way involved. I would bring geographic diversity, as there has never been a justice from El Paso. Finally I would bring legal diversity to the Court. Legal diversity due not only to my criminal defense background, but from my background in immigration law as well.

Libertarian Mark W. Bennett Did not respond to questionnaire

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4

Republican Kevin Patrick Yeary

Age: 48

Occupation and/or main source of income: Appellate Prosecutor – Bexar County District Attorney’s Office

City of your residence: San Antonio

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: P.O. Box 591694, San Antonio, Texas 78259; kpyeary@yahoo.com; 210-387-1767; www.yearyforjudge.com; www.facebook.com/yearyforjudge; @kpyeary (On Twitter)

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement:

Current: Texas Bar Association - Member; San Antonio Bar Association –Member; Criminal Courts Committee Appellate Section; Catholic Lawyer's Guild of San Antonio - Member; Encino Park Elementary School - Watch Dog Volunteer; St. Padre Pio Catholic Church – Member, Lector, Eucharistic Minster; Knights of Columbus - Council 13074

Past: Texas Bar Association - Member 1991-Present; San Antonio Bar Association – Member, Appellate Section - Past Secretary; Catholic Lawyer's Guild of San Antonio - 2012-Present; Encino Park Elementary School - Watch Dog Volunteer - 2010-Present; St. Padre Pio Catholic Church – Member, Lector, Eucharistic Minster, Knights of Columbus - Council 13074, Director of High School Confirmation Preparation 2005-2010 Director of the 2013 Men's ACTS Retreat

Past public offices you have run for or held: N/A

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I believe I have been blessed with a very unique legal career that has prepared me for the job like few others. I have been a lawyer for 23 years. I have worked at the Court of Criminal Appeals as a Briefing Attorney. I have been a defense attorney. I have worked on behalf of accused clients both in the trial courts and in the courts of appeals. I have worked over the last 19 years as an appellate attorney with three of the largest metropolitan DA's offices in Texas. Also, over the course of my entire career, I have practiced extensively in front of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The prospect of working at the Court of Criminal Appeals is exciting to me. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to run for a seat on the Court of Criminal Appeals.

What are your top issues? Justice for the People of Texas.

Libertarian Quanah Parker Did not respond to questionnaire

Green Party Judith Sanders-Castro

Age: 65

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney

City of your residence: San Antonio

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Jscastro49@gmail.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I have been a member of PTAs for my children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren. I have served as a volunteer and official with brownie and girls scout. In the mid 1990s, I was a member of the San Antonio Cultural Arts Board. I served as board member for the Mujeres Project in San Antonio. Recently, I was a member of an advisory committee to review the policies and procedures of the Internal Affairs department of the San Antonio Police Department. .

Past public offices you have run for or held: A position on the Alamo Community College board.

Why are you the best candidate for this office? Because I have extensive legal and life experience, particularly in handling problems of people who are indigent and/or have mental health problems, the populations that male up the huge majority of criminal inmates in Texas.

What are your top issues? Education and economic development.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I would probably serve two terms however I believe that the electorate should decide when an officeholder should leave office. Term limits creates an artificial barrier to both good and bad service. Logically,, there is no benefit to the public from establishing term limits on offices/

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? I do not have an opinion. However, I don’t believe the state is making a sufficient profit from the lottery and the people who play the lottery are generally lower income people who really do not have expendable dollars.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? If it is a historical cultural phenomena, then I see no problem with continuing the racing.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? There is a casino outside of Eagle Pass. Because Las Vegas is so easily accessible to people who live in Texas, I do not understand what economic benefit the state would realize from increased numbers of casinos.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Texas should open its coffers and create a hospitable, safe environment for the children and mothers who have recently immigrated into the US. The state should be responsible for educating and providing health care and counseling for these people.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I do not agree with the laws or the ill-advised decision to present an ill-advised legal battle in court. I believe the intent of the restrictions on the availability of abortions for women in Texas is political and unjustifiable because those laws restrict health care for women, period.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? Fix the roads and begin serious planning for multi-modal transportation including trains between cities and light rail within the cities as opposed to adding additional lanes to major highways

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? No.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? No.

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9

Republican David Newell

Age: 43

Occupation and/or your main source of income: Appellate attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office

City of residence: Missouri City, Texas

Best way for voters to reach you: The best way to reach me is via email, but here is my contact information. Phone: 713-204-7292; email: david@newellforjudge.com; website: www.newellforjudge

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I decided to become a prosecutor after volunteering at the Houston Area Women’s Center answering the Rape Crisis Hotline during college. Since that time, I have been very active in my community through my church and the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, where I served as a Board member. I also repeatedly coordinated the Annual Blue Ribbon School Competition where Fort Bend I.S.D. schools decorated their campuses with blue ribbons and artwork from students to convey messages of hope for an end to child abuse. My wife and I became trained as ChristCare small group leaders (part of the Stephen Ministry program) to help lead intentional small group worship at our church, Southminster Presbyterian. Along with our two boys, we have also volunteered our time with the Houston Food Bank and Keep Sugar Land Beautiful. I have served as both an alternate at-large delegate and an at-large delegate for Senate District 17 at the Texas Republican Convention as well as a delegate for my precinct. I was a member of the Course Planning Committee for the 2014 Advanced Criminal Law Course put on by the State Bar of Texas and I also presented the Court of Criminal Appeals Update at that seminar in July. I was awarded the 2013 C. Chris Marshall Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Education of Texas Prosecutors from the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association. At the 2013 State Bar of Texas Advanced Criminal Law Course, I presented the Court of Criminal Appeals Update highlighting the significant decisions from the most recent term of the Court of Criminal Appeals, and I have been presenting this subject almost continuously since 2007. I also presented the United States Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals Update at the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association Annual Criminal and Civil Law Update, again something I’ve been doing almost continuously since 2007. I served as a faculty advisor at the Matthew Paul Advanced Appellate Skills Course in Waco. I also served as Chair of the Editorial Board for The Texas Prosecutor, the bimonthly newsletter for the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association. I am a Patron Associate of the Texas Federation of Republican Women as well as an associate member of both the Spirit of Freedom Republican Women and the Texas Tea Party Republican Women. I am also a member of the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club and the Houston Bar Association. Additionally, my family and I are very active with the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County, and we support the Star of Hope Mission in Houston, Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Parks Youth Ranch, and Fort Bend Junior Service League.

Past public offices you have run for or held: I have not previously run for office.

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I have been handling criminal appeals for my entire legal career. I started as an unpaid intern at the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office handling appeals of both misdemeanor and felony convictions. Upon being hired there as an Assistant District Attorney, I was assigned to the misdemeanor trial court where I tried misdemeanor cases and volunteered to try felonies, though I continued to handle both criminal and juvenile appeals on a volunteer basis to assist the sole appellate attorney in the office at that time. I did a rotation through the juvenile division before I was promoted to a newly-created position where I handled criminal appeals exclusively. As an appellate prosecutor, I was responsible for responding to criminal appeals including appeals in death penalty cases, pursing appeals on behalf of the State, and seeking discretionary review from the Court of Criminal Appeals. I also handled post-conviction writs including those in death penalty cases and responses for DNA testing. Because the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office also handled CPS cases at the time, I was responsible for handling those appeals as well. In 2007, I accepted a job with the appellate division in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office where I currently work as an appellate prosecutor.

As discussed above, I have lectured extensively upon the significant decisions from the Court of Criminal Appeals. I have been asked to do so not only for the State Bar and the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association, but also for the Texas Association for Appellate Court Attorneys. Similarly, the University of Texas CLE has repeatedly asked me to speak at their Conference on Criminal Appeals put on with the assistance of the Court of Criminal Appeals itself. Moreover, I have written numerous articles analyzing and explaining the significant decisions of the Court of Criminal Appeals and the United States Supreme Court for the Texas Prosecutor. I believe this experience makes me the best qualified candidate to do the job on day one.

What are your top issues? I don’t believe that judges should enter office with an agenda other than to be fair and impartial and to interpret existing law with due humility. I do think that there are a number of significant issues that are currently facing the Court. Significantly, the Court has wrestled lately with the issue of how to handle new scientific developments that cast doubt upon convictions based upon outdated scientific opinion testimony. With the legislature’s promulgation of Article 11.073, the Court of Criminal Appeals will now have a clear vehicle to decide whether a defendant is entitled to relief. Additionally, technological advancements may require reassessment of privacy standards under the Fourth Amendment as well as the Confrontation Clause jurisprudence under the Sixth Amendment. My priority would be to approach these (an any other issues) issues with judicial modesty and restraint to avoid legislating from the bench and to protect individual liberty from executive or legislative overreach.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do not believe that there should be term limits for a judicial office like this one because a body of case law takes time to develop. If elected, I would serve on the Court as long as the citizens would have me.

Other State Issues: As a judicial candidate, I do not believe it would be appropriate for me to express a particular preference or position on these state law issues. Consequently, I have not included the remaining questions here.

Libertarian William Bryan Strange III Did not respond to questionnaire

Green Party George Joseph Altgelt Did not respond to questionnaire

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