YOU BE THE JUDGE
We need you to help re-elect our experienced justices, and help preserve a fair and impartial Supreme Court of Texas. Texas has one of the most respected state high courts in the nation. Its last three chief justices—Tom Phillips, Wallace Jefferson, and Nathan Hecht—have been nationally, and internationally, recognized as among the finest jurists anywhere. All we can ask of any judge is to apply the law to the facts in an impartial manner, and let the chips fall where they may. We haven’t seen a “Justice for Sale” Supreme Court in Texas since the 1980s, and we never want to see one again.
So you might ask: what’s the problem? Why should I be worried now, and why should I help the TCJL judicial effort in 2014?
The answer is this: the future of the Texas judicial system very much depends on what we do in 2014. Consider what happened in 2012. An incumbent justice on the Texas Supreme Court, a former corporate general counsel and appointee of Governor Rick Perry, lost in the Republican primary to a candidate entirely financed by plaintiff’s lawyers. In San Antonio, four highly rated and experienced incumbent justices on the 4th District Court of Appeals likewise lost their seats to candidates heavily funded by the plaintiff’s bar. Suddenly, the stability and predictability of our judicial system doesn’t look very solid, does it?
Surely this can’t happen in 2014, right? Think again. Four incumbent justices of the Texas Supreme Court are on the ballot, including two of the most highly respected jurists in the state and two outstanding recent appointees of Governor Perry. Three of the four, including the Chief Justice, have drawn challengers in the Republican primary. At least two of these challengers are likely to be well-funded and competitive candidates. Three of the four current justices also have Democratic challengers in November, all of whom are sitting judges on other courts.
We are not suggesting that the 1980s are about to happen all over again. But we are saying that if we don’t do everything we can to keep the best and brightest judges on the bench, we have only ourselves to blame. Your support is critical if we are to do this. We need the resources to educate our membership and Texas voters of the importance of judicial elections to the future of our state. If we don’t do this and lose these judges, all the tort reform and legislative progress we have made in the last quarter of a century might as well not have happened.
SUPREME COURT JUSTICES ON THE BALLOT
Chief Justice Nathan Hecht
Chief Justice Hecht is nationally recognized as one of the premier appellate justices in the country. He has served on the Texas Supreme Court since 1988, and was a state district judge for years prior to that. He has a total of 30 years judicial experience and his stellar record has earned him the distinction of the longest-serving Supreme Court Justice in Texas history. Justice Hecht is also a veteran of the US Navy. His Republican primary opponent, Robert Talton, has no judicial experience.
TCJL PAC has endorsed Justice Hecht in every campaign since 1988, and recommends your endorsement and financial support for his campaign.
Justice Phil Johnson
Texas Supreme Court, Place 8
Justice Phil Johnson is commonly considered one of the best judges to ever serve on the Texas Supreme Court. He has 16 years of appellate judicial experience and 23 years in private practice. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2005 by Governor Rick Perry, and was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2008. Prior to 2005, he was twice elected to the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo, where he served as Justice and Chief Justice. Justice Johnson served 7 years in the US Air Force and is a Vietnam veteran. Justice Johnson’s experience far outweighs that of his Republican primary opponent, Sharon McCally.
TCJL PAC has endorsed Justice Phil Johnson every time he has appeared on the ballot, since his first campaign in 1998. TCJL PAC recommends your strongest endorsement and maximum financial support for Phil Johnson’s campaign for re-election to the Texas Supreme Court.
Justice Jeff Brown
Texas Supreme Court, Place 6
Justice Jeff Brown has long been regarded as a rising star in the Texas judiciary. He served 6 years as a district judge in Harris County, and was then elected to the 14th Court of Appeals in 2007. Governor Rick Perry appointed him to the Texas Supreme Court in 2013, where he now stands for re-election on the 2014 ballot. He spent many years in private practice, and is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law. Justice Brown is consistently one of the top rate jurists on the State Bar of Texas and Harris County Bar Polls. His Republican primary opponent, Joe Pool, has no judicial experience.
TCJL PAC has endorsed Justice Brown in past elections, and recommends your endorsement and financial support for his campaign.
Justice Jeff Boyd
Texas Supreme Court, Place 7
Justice Jeff Boyd was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in December 2012 by Governor Rick Perry. Following many early years in private practice, Jeff Boyd was appointed in 2000 John Cornyn to serve as Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation. He served there for 3 years before returning to private practice as a senior partner at Thompson & Knight. In January 2011, Governor Perry appointed Jeff to the position of General Counsel to the Governor, where he served until his appointment to the Texas Supreme Court. Justice Boyd is fortunate to not have a primary opponent in March, but does have a general election opponent on the November ballot.
TCJL PAC endorses Justice Boyd, and encourages your support and financial assistance.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
There are many ways you can be extremely helpful:
PAC money or personal money: Contribute to the TCJL PAC to assist our political efforts on the judiciary, or contribute directly to the judges’ campaigns. Contribute online at www.tcjlpac.com, or mail a check to TCJL PAC, 400 West 15th Street, Suite 1400, Austin, TX 78701.
Corporate money: Contribute to the TCJL Judicial Education Public Awareness Project. This effort seeks to raise voters’ awareness of the importance of the judiciary and the qualifications of the candidates. Contribute online at www.tcjl.com, or mail a check to TCJL, 400 West 15th Street, Suite 1400, Austin, TX 78701.
No money: Help us distribute TCJL PAC Judicial Slate Cards to your members, family, friends, associates and employees. Small, pocket-size cards with relevant dates and a slate of judges endorsed by TCJL PAC. Small or large quantities are available. Send name, mailing address, and quantity requested to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to help, please call 512-320-0474 or email email@example.com.