CALA Slingshots: Judicial Selection
Lawmakers Urged to Wean Money
and Politics From Judicial Selection Process

With 14 years of continuous service as chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Tom Phillips ought to know from which he speaks when he says it is time we wean money and politics from the judicial selection process.

Texas remains one of a handful of states in which judges are selected through partisan elections. Given that there were scores of races on the November ballot in Travis County, and most voters possessed little knowledge about candidates, it is likely that many voted for judicial candidates solely on party affiliation.

Choosing judges based on party labels does not promote impartiality or legal scholarship.

Most states have found that the best way to assure a just judicial system is to select judges based on experience, qualifications and independence.

Hence, many Texans favor a system in which judges are appointed by the governor, confirmed by the Senate and retained or ousted by the will of the voters.

Jon Opelt
Houston Director
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

2500 City West Boulevard, Suite 300 • Houston, Texas 77042
E-mail: sosueme@ • Administrative: (713) 267-2302 • Fax: (713) 267-2267