1 League of Women Voters League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund 1212 Guadalupe St. #107 Austin, TX (512) V OTERS GUIDE Primary Election * March 9, 2004 This Voters Guide is funded and published by the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund to help citizens prepare to cast an informed vote. This educational organization, associated with the League of Women Voters of Texas, operates exclusively for educational purposes in the general areas of government and public policy, carrying out its objectives through research, publication of educational materials, and other appropriate projects. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that works to promote political responsibility through active, informed participation of all citizens in their government. Neither the League nor the Education Fund supports or opposes any political party or candidate. This Voters Guide lists candidates for the statewide races for Railroad Commissioner, Supreme Court, and Court of Criminal Appeals, as well as for the Courts of Appeal districts. It includes responses to a questionnaire sent to those candidates in contested races. Candidate replies are printed without editing or verification. Due to space restrictions, candidates were given strict word limits for replies. Replies exceeding the word limit are indicated by ellipsis ( ). Candidates were also asked to confine their responses to the questions asked and to avoid references to their opponents. This Voters Guide is organized by race, with candidates listed in alphabetical order within their party in each race. Ballot order will vary from county to county. Candidates unopposed within their party are listed, but questionnaires were not sent to them. This Voters Guide and other helpful information is available online by visiting the League s website at DemocracyNetwork is another resource for voter information that the League offers. Visit this site at League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund MAKE DEMOCRACY WORK-VOTE! On March 9, polls are open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Funding of Voters Guides is furnished by the League s Education Fund which is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Education Fund gratefully acknowledges major contributions since January 2003 from: Anonymous Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Association of Texas Professional Educators H-E-B Harold Simmons Foundation Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Hershey Foundation Rohm and Haas Ruth Bowers Foundation SBC San Antonio Water System Trull Foundation VOTING IN TEXAS PRIMARIES When you vote in a political party s primary, you become a member of that party for the next two years or until the next primary election. Your voting certificate will be stamped, at the time you vote, with the name of the party in whose primary you vote. You may vote in only one party s primary. If there is a runoff, you may vote only in the same party s runoff election. Only party members may participate in the precinct, county or senatorial district, or state conventions of a particular party. Proof of party affiliation (i.e., your stamped voting certificate) is needed in order to be admitted to a party s convention. Parties other than those whose candidates are listed in this Voters Guide are not holding primary elections; instead, their candidates are nominated and selected in their precinct, county, and state conventions. Party precinct conventions are the first step in the process that! adopts the state party platform! certifies the party s nominees for state office in general elections! selects delegates to the party s county or senatorial district, state, and national conventions! nominates presidential electors! elects national party committee members! writes the national party platform BE AN ACTIVE CITIZEN! Attend your party s precinct convention after the polls close on March 9. (see last page of this Voters Guide for information on party conventions) In-kind assistance provided by: Jacqueline Pike (translation for Spanish Voters Guide) HELPFUL WEBSITES League of Women Voters of Texas Texas Secretary of State (election and campaign finance information) Texas Legislature Online (information on bills and state legislators) Texas County Websites (local polling places and election contacts) GENERAL VOTING INFORMATION You must register at least 30 days prior to an election. Your registration will remain in effect and a new certificate will be sent to you every two years. It will not be forwarded to a new address, so if you move, you must notify your County Clerk or Elections Administrator of your new address. If you move to another county, you must reregister. Take your certificate and another form of identification to the polls. The current certificate, sent in January 2004, is blue. Early voting in person for the March 9, 2004, election will take place from February 23 to March 5. Contact your County Clerk or Elections Administrator for specific dates, times, and places. QUALIFICATIONS FOR VOTING You must be a citizen of the United States, registered to vote, and at least 18 years old on election day. You must not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court. You must not have been convicted of a felony, or, if convicted, must have received a certificate of discharge or must have been pardoned. PROVISIONAL VOTING You may vote without your certificate if your name is on the list of registered voters at your polling place, and if you present a valid identification. If your name is not on the list of registered voters, but you feel you are registered, you may vote a provisional ballot after completing an affidavit and presenting a valid identification. Your ballot will be counted if you are found to be legally registered. You will be given information on how to ascertain whether your vote was counted. MOVING WITHIN THE COUNTY After moving, notify the county voter registrar in writing of your new address. You should transfer your registration to your new address as soon a possible. You may return to your previous precinct to vote until your registration is transferred, provided you still live within the boundaries of the entity conducting the election. MOVING FROM ONE COUNTY TO ANOTHER If you move from one Texas county to another, you must re-register in the county of your new residence. You may be eligible to vote a limited ballot for 90 days after you move if your new registration is not yet effective. However, the limited ballot is available only during early voting, not on election day. For coverage of presidential and some state races, visit the League s online voter resource:
2 You may bring this Voters Guide into the voting booth! In 1995, the Texas law prohibiting use of printed materials, such as this Voters Guide, in the polling place was ruled unconstitutional. Railroad Commissioner Six-year term (on a three-person commission). Must be a Texas resident and qualified voter, not less than 25 years old, and must have no interest in any railroad. Among duties: regulation of the oil and gas industry, including drilling production, and environmental protection; natural gas utility companies; natural gas and hazardous liquids pipeline safety; surface mining of coal, uranium, and iron ore gravel, including land reclamation; transportation and storage of liquified petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, and liquefied natural gas; railroad safety; and encourages the use of clean-burning propane and researches new technologies for its use. Salary: $92,217. In order to protect public safety, what should be the role of the Commission maintaining records of pipeline location, age, and condition? What part should citizens and public interest groups play in the decision making process of the Railroad Commission? Bob Scarborough, Unopposed Robert Butler As assistant personnel manager at the General Land Office , Land Commissioner Jerry Sadler took me to 50 or 60 Railroad Commission Meetings. I started cutting out and saving every article I found about the Railroad Commission, and have 9 scrapbooks full. I am satisfied with the safety record of the Railroad Commission, but as a member of the Texas Land and Mineral Owners Association, I agree with them that not nearly enough is being done to plug abandoned oil wells. Many of these abandoned wells are slowly seeping unrecovered oil into our underground water aquifers and polluting them. The situation may soon become urgent. All interested parties and individuals should attend Railroad Commission hearings whenever possible or pull up the minutes of the meetings on computer and read them. Additionally I want the voters to know that I think the name of the Commission should represent its activities. It s name should be changed to the Texas Energy Commission so the general public will know what it mainly does. Victor G. Carrillo As the incumbent Railroad Commissioner, I m already working to keep jobs in Texas, increase public and environmental safety, and keep energy revenues flowing to Texas schools. I m a geologist and have worked as a petroleum geophysicist and energy attorney and won elections to Abilene city council and Taylor County Judge. Pipeline safety is personally and professionally important to me. My wife, our three daughters and I also live near an active pipeline. The Railroad Commission has adopted federal pipeline safety regulations, and employs over 46 pipeline safety experts, including 28 inspectors who conduct approximately 2,500 inspections per year. The Commission registers all operating pipelines and requires maps of all pipelines leaving production leases. Pipeline permits and locations are maintained on a computerized mapping system. I m committed to open and responsive government and welcome input from citizens and organizations. Please attend our public hearings, or comment at As chairman of the new Texas Energy Planning Council, I welcome your input on efforts to encourage domestic oil and gas exploration, and clean energy sources such as liquefied natural gas, clean coal, and wind power. I want a stronger, cleaner energy sector generating jobs and revenues for families, schools and communities. Douglas G. Deffenbaugh I am a 22-year member of the oil and gas industry, having owned natural gas gathering lines, and working interests in many oil and gas wells. I own an oil and gas service company. I am an attorney, and understand the legal ramifications of the Railroad Commission s activities. Because of my foundational belief in the importance of the ownership of private property in our democracy, the owners of a pipeline have the primary incentive and responsibility to operate their pipeline safely, and retain the appropriate records. These records should be available to be inspected by the Railroad Commission for accuracy and public safety concerns. Because of the nature of our representative democracy, citizens and public interest groups have the opportunity for their impact to be felt during the election of the three Railroad Commissioners. Giving their input more weight subsequent to an election, discounts the value and importance of the voters will as expressed in the election itself. Having three elected Commissioners gives the public more voice than if there were appointed members, or only one elected Commissioner. K. Dale Henry No response received. The Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals Texas has two high courts for the state: the Supreme Court to hear appeals in civil cases, and the Court of Criminal Appeals for criminal cases. The Supreme Court has one Chief Justice and eight Justices, and the Court of Criminal Appeals has one Presiding Judge and eight Judges. The Supreme Court requires the concurrence of five members for a decision of a case. The Court of Criminal Appeals may sit in panels of three judges, and the concurrence of two judges is necessary for a decision. Supreme Court Justice 2 Six-year term. Must be at least 35 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Texas. Must have been a practicing lawyer or a lawyer and a judge of a court of record for a total of 10 years or more. Serves as a member of the court of highest appellate jurisdiction in civil matters in the state; has the power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, and others; presides over proceedings for involuntary retirements or removal of judges. Salary: $113,000. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, continued next page
3 PLACE 5 Do you support changes in the way judges are selected and/or the judicial campaign process? Please explain. How would you balance the time spent by the court in reviewing cases for error and deciding issues of Paul Green After a seventeen-year career as a courtroom lawyer, primarily defending small businesses and individuals, I was elected, and reelected, as a justice on the San Antonio Court of Appeals where I have served for more than nine years, authoring more than one thousand case opinions. There is a problem with the current system of electing judges here in Texas that can be summed up in one word: money. There is a perception among many Texans that the judicial system serves special interests and not their interests. The people of Texas deserve to know that their judges serve their needs and the best way to make that happen is to deemphasize the influence of money in electing judges. Because the Supreme Court cannot accept every case that is appealed to it, it must necessarily give greater weight to considerations of broad public policy in its decision as to which cases should be accepted for review. However, the court should always be alert to cases that exhibit manifest error because the integrity of the justice system demands it. Steven Wayne Smith As the incumbent, I am the only candidate with experience on the Supreme Court. I am the Court s leading proponent of judicial restraint. I graduated from U.T. Law School with honors. My successful private practice included litigating the Hopwood v. Texas case that eliminated unconstitutional racial preferences at Texas universities. Texas judges should continue to be elected. The core task of the judiciary is to efficiently and fairly resolve cases by applying the established law to the facts of each case. Judges should not be creating new law. Elections make the Texas judiciary accountable, allowing voters to remove judges who are inefficient, unfair, or who legislate from the bench. In addition, due to conflict of interest concerns, campaign contributions from attorneys should be strictly limited. The Supreme Court should spend no time deciding issues of broader public policy. The Court should reverse cases only when a lower court erroneously applies established legal precedent. My conservative judicial philosophy mirrors that of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas: textualism and rejection of the liberal living constitution theory. Unlike the liberal elite, I believe policy issues like abortion, education funding, and homosexual rights should be decided by the Legislature, not the courts. UNOPPOSED SUPREME COURT RACES: Place 3 : Harriet O Neill Place 9 : David Van Os : Scott Brister Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Six-year term. Must be at least 35 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Texas. Must have been a practicing lawyer or a lawyer and a judge of a court of record for a total of 10 years or more. Among duties shared with other judges: serves as a member of the court of highest appellate jurisdiction in criminal matters in the state; has the power to issue writs of habeas corpus and others. Salary: $113,000. PLACE 2 What changes, if any, would you support to assure that the rights of the legally indigent are adequately protected under current law and practice, particularly in death penalty cases? How would you balance the time spent by the court in reviewing cases for error and deciding issues of Guy James Gray Twenty three years as District Attorney for Jasper County and board certified Criminal Law Specialist since Lead prosecutor in the capital murder trials from dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. Graduate of the University of Texas, B.B.A., honors program, 1971, and University of Texas, Doctorate of Jurisprudence, I believe that current law is generally sufficient to protect the rights of the indigent in ordinary cases and death penalty cases. However, the knowledge and skill level of both prosecutors and defense lawyers need improvement. The Court of Criminal Appeals should take the lead to insure that the quality of representation continuously improves. The Court of Criminal Appeals should not be deciding issues of public policy. The legislature should pass the criminal laws, law enforcement should make the arrest and the prosecutors should bring the case to court. The Court of criminal appeals should only review cases to ascertain if any error denied the defendant a fundamentally fair trial. Lawrence "Larry" Meyers Senior Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 11 year member Associate Justice, Second Court of Appeals, 4 year member Board Certified in Criminal Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization Masters Degree Judicial Process, University of Virginia School of Law Course Director 2003 Advanced Criminal Seminar, State Bar of Texas In the last three sessions of the Texas Legislature we have seen the enactment of the Texas Fair Defense Act and an amendment to the Texas Criminal Habeas Corpus Act to include Section which covers representation of defendants in death penalty cases. I believe that both of these acts have gone a long way toward ensuring that indigent defendants are fairly and adequately represented, both at trial and on appeal. We are fortunate at the Court because the attorneys who practice before us, bring excellent arguments and research both as to the current status of the law and also on how changes nationwide are affecting the state of the criminal law and procedure. I have also found that participation in the criminal and constitutional seminars offered by the State Bar, the Texas law schools and private organizations are ensuring that we are up to date. 3
4 Court of Criminal Appeals Judge continued PLACE 5 What changes, if any, would you support to assure that the rights of the legally indigent are adequately protected under current law and practice, particularly in death penalty cases? How would you balance the time spent by the court in reviewing cases for error and deciding issues of Cheryl Johnson I am the incumbent. Before my election in 1998, I practiced criminal defense law for 14 years and have been board-certified as a specialist in criminal law since The current fee structure for death-penalty cases is inadequate to enlist highly qualified attorneys on appeal or habeas. We need adequate compensation for attorneys. A paid apprentice system is also needed. Death-penalty proceedings require specialized knowledge that generally is unavailable in law school. Attorneys who want to learn these skills are often uncompensated. Few attorneys can spend the time necessary to a death-penalty case without compensation and still earn a living. The Court s authority is limited to review of the decisions of the next lower court. Issues of public policy are for the Legislature. Patricia Noble Assistant District Attorney in the Dallas County office for eighteen years. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has published decisions in 25 of her cases. Chen v State is a highlight. That opinion allows convictions upheld where pedophiles have used the Internet to find victims but actually contacted undercover officers. Working toward the goal of assuring the rights of the indigent are adequately protected, the Court has compiled a list of qualified attorneys to appoint for their representation. At the trial level, the state s nine regional administrative judges have similar lists of qualified attorneys. I support these efforts; still there is more that should be done. To improve this system, I would support the use of objective standards in qualifying attorneys for listing. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is likely the country s busiest appellate court. The Court s primary job is to establish broad rules for the criminal justice system s operation; yet, it cannot become so busy that it cannot carefully consider cases to ensure justice for even one individual. This Court is obligated to hear meritorious complaints. Some decisions may have greater application, but a single individuals complaint should bear the same importance. PLACE 6 Michael Keasler Judge, CCA, 1998-present; District Judge, ; Former Felony Chief Prosecutor; Past Chair, State Bar Judicial Section; Past Chair, ABA Trial Judges Ethics Committee; Former Dean, Texas Continuing Judicial Education; Faculty, National Judicial College; Teach judicial ethics curriculum internationally; Leader, justice for abused children and women; judicial sensitivity to... Indigents rights to effective counsel must be protected as outlined by U.S. Supreme Court s ruling in Strickland v. Washington, setting out a two-part effectiveness test: (a) Was counsel s performance deficient? (Were the errors so serious as to deprive defendant of a fair trial?) and (2) Did counsel s deficient performance prejudice the defense? (Would the result of the trial have been different but for the unprofessional errors?) More attorneys should be encouraged to provide pro J.R. Molina, Unopposed When we accept petitions for discretionary review, we routinely examine lower court opinions for error. But we must acknowledge how our narrow decision in the particular case fits into our overall Texas criminal jurisprudence. Our decisions must be consistent, clear, reasonable, predictable, and fair under the law. The determination of broad public policy is the legislature s job. Our job is to apply the statutes, to determine their constitutionality, and, when ambiguous, to construe them. Steven M. Porter I have practiced law for 29 years. During this time, I have served as both criminal prosecutor and defense counsel. I have experience in civil and administrative law venues. I believe this broad scope of experience is necessary to understand and cope with the complex legal issues before the Court. I support any reasonable changes that would assure the rights of the indigent are protected. The rights of defendants should not be compromised due to indigency. I would welcome changes that would require mandatory DNA testing in appropriate situations paid for by the state. It is wrong for courts to use their power to legislate change. Courts are to assure laws passed by the legislature meet proper state and federal Constitutional standards. All cases heard by the Court of Criminal Appeals are important to those involved and should be given as much time as necessary for the Court to reach a well reasoned decision based on strong legal precedent; a decision that shows both scholarship and compassion. It would be a tragedy for the Court to attempt to balance time spent on cases because of a process that flags certain cases as being of broader public policy. Courts of Appeals Texas is divided into 14 Courts of Appeals Districts, each of which has a Chief Justice and two or more other Justices. They have appellate jurisdiction within the limits of their districts. The justices are elected for six-year terms by the voters of their district, and their qualifications and the method of filling vacancies is the same as for the two high courts. 4
5 Court of Appeals, Justice Six-year term. Must be at least 35 years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of Texas and the district for which he or she is seeking office. Must have been a practicing lawyer or judge for at least 10 years. Among duties: appellate jurisdiction co-extensive with the limits of judges respective districts, which shall extend to all cases of which the District Courts or County Courts have original or appellate jurisdiction. Salary: Between $107,350 and $112,000. 3rd COURT OF APPEALS, PLACE 4 Do you support changes in the way judges are selected and/or the judicial campaign process? Please explain. The Third Court of Appeals District is composed of the counties of Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coke, Comal, Concho, Fayette, Hays, Irion, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, McCulloch, Milam, Mills, Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Sterling, Tom Green, Travis, and Williamson. How would you balance the time spent by the court in reviewing cases for error and deciding issues of Jan Patterson, Unopposed Ernest C. Garcia Served two years as a district judge and was rated as a qualified, fair, hardworking, courteous, attentive judge who correctly applies the existing law. Served for eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, nationally recognized for my outstanding public service. Trial, appellate, civil and criminal attorney for over 19 years. Yes. The current process of electing judges in partisan elections should be modified to reduce conflicts of interest. I would support a voter education pamphlet with candidates position statements printed and distributed by the Secretary of State (as long as it paid for by private contributions, not tax dollars). However, I firmly believe that the people of Texas should retain the right to vote for a recognized and qualified judicial candidate of their choice. Given my conservative judicial philosophy I believe issues of broader public policy should be left to our elected representatives in the Texas Legislature in conjuction with the Governor. Therefore I would anticipate spending little judicial time on public policy issues, but rather I would expend my time in applying the law as our legislative branch has enacted it and in accordance with existing case law. This approach would afford citizens more certainty and efficiency. Bill Green Training: bachelor s degree and law degree, University of Texas. Experience: briefing attorney, Texas Supreme Court ( ); legislative assistant, Texas House of Representatives (1985); staff attorney, Third Court of Appeals ( ); staff attorney, Texas Supreme Court ( ); staff attorney, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (1990- present). No, I do not support changes in the way judges are selected. In our system of government, the sole purpose of the appellate courts is to review lower court decisions for reversible error. Deciding issues of broader public policy is the responsibility of the Legislature. 3rd COURT OF APPEALS, PLACE 6 (unexpired term) Diane Henson, Unopposed William C. (Bill) Davidson I am admitted to and. practice in all of the federal district courts of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Texas Courts. I have participated in hundreds of trial court hearings, and many appellate court proceedings, both federal and state. I have actively practiced law since In my opinion, the public will best be served by a process that provides for the screening of all potential judicial candidates by an organization created for that purpose, and the nomination of two or more candidates for each judicial position by that organization. The public would then vote, in a non-partisan election for one of the nominated candidates. All cases being reviewed by the Court of Appeals deserve and would get from me, equal time in review, consideration, research and determination. Bob Pemberton Governor Rick Perry appointed me based upon my strong record in both public service (as Deputy General Counsel to the Governor and a Texas Supreme Court attorney) and private law practice (handling high-stakes appeals at Baker Botts and Akin Gump). I graduated from Baylor University and Harvard Law School. Judges must be balanced, fair and accountable to the people they serve, and I am grateful for the opportunity to earn the voters trust in The Governor s appointment process involved a careful review of my conservative judicial philosophy and professional experience handling high-stakes legal issues in both the public and private sectors. Until I get my first election behind me, I reserve judgment on changing the way Texas selects judges. The Third Court of Appeals must entertain all appeals as a matter of right, unlike the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals, which can chose cases based on public policy impact. As a Justice of the Third Court of Appeals, my job is to ensure the law is correctly, fairly, and impartially interpreted and applied in every case, and to work tirelessly for a fair and balanced justice system for all Texans. COURT OF APPEALS continued on page 6 5
6 COURT OF APPEALS continued 9th COURT OF APPEALS, PLACE 2 Do you support changes in the way judges are selected and/or the judicial campaign process? Please explain. How would you balance the time spent by the court in reviewing cases for error and deciding issues of The Ninth Court of Appeals District is composed of the counties of Angelina, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler. Ralph K. Harrison 1. Graduate The University of Texas School of Law; years of legal practice; 3. Former Briefing Attorney Third Court of Appeals; 4. Represented clients before First, Second, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Courts of Appeal; 5. Certified mediator; 6. Member College of the State Bar I support preserving Texans right to elect their judges. I believe that election of judges maintains accountability of those elected to the public. I also support the current voluntary limitations on financial contributions to candidates and on candidate expenditures. I would suggest changes in the requirements for reporting of contributions to provide greater access to this information to the voting public. I believe one hundred percent of my time should be spent reviewing cases for error. A basic principle of our Republic is that the people have the right to make laws through their elected legislative representatives. I strongly oppose judges making public policy by judicial fiat or in any other manner. Such judicial activism is a violation of the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of powers. Charles Kreger No photo received B.S. 1981, University of Houston; J.D., 1985, South Texas College of Law. 18 years of jury trial experience, both prosecution and defense, with numerous jury verdicts and appeals, representing individuals, small companies and major corporations in counties all across the State. Christian. Conservative. Community Leader. I believe very strongly in the election process. The voters have a right to know and choose their elected officials, including judges. There are qualifications that are already in place that must be met before an attorney may be eligible to seek election to a judicial position. Allowing a selection process would place too much power in the hands of a few and prevent otherwise qualified candidates from seeking the office. I have always served my community in voluntary positions of leadership through youth sports, church organizations, school activities, legal associations and Rotary, and will continue to do so. The public has lost confidence in our legal system as a whole. I will work tirelessly to restore that trust by my rulings from the bench and in the communities that this Court serves. 10th COURT OF APPEALS, PLACE 3 The Tenth Court of Appeals District is composed of the counties of Bosque, Brazos, Coryell, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Johnson, Leon, Limestone, Madison, McLennan, Navarro, Robertson, and Somervell. Boyd Mangrum, Unopposed Lynnan Locke Kendrick An experienced litigator, I am thoroughly familiar with Court procedures and evidence rules that come before this Court. For 26 years, I tried, as prosecutor and private attorney, criminal and civil cases. In the last 6 years alone, I tried 14 civil jury and over a thousand non-jury proceedings. I believe in the right of the people to select their judges. The ideal way to select a Judge is through a nonpartisan election. Utilizing this system would lead to the most qualified, experienced judiciary. While campaigning, I believe it is appropriate to outline the opponent s weaknesses in experience or training. I believe it is inappropriate to precommit a judge to rule a certain way in a case. It is not the function of Appellate Court Justices to decide issues of public policy except in a very few cases. It is the role of the legislature and governor. The duty of the Court is to rule on the laws that are enacted by the legislature, the mandates set out in the Constitution of Texas and the United States, and Court rulings which establish precedents. Opinions need to be written clearly and issued quickly. Felipe Reyna No photo received Justice 10 th Court Appeals (incumbent); Baylor law degree 1972; Four years Assistant DA and six years McLennan County District Attorney; Twenty years civil and criminal private practice; Gov. Bush appointee on State Board Dental Examiners; From humble beginning as janitor of 10 th Court Appeals to Gov. Perry s appointee as Justice The election of judicial officials safeguards the democratic rights of voters and demands the personal accountability of those they elect. Election on a nonpartisan basis, however, might allow individual qualifications to take precedence over party affiliation. In order to maintain the stability and integrity of the judicial system, the Court s primary responsibility is the application of existing law to the facts of each case. The Court s secondary responsibility is to address public policy issues, but this must be done in a conservative manner which respects the legislative branch of government balanced against the individual interests of litigants. 6
7 COURT OF APPEALS continued 14th COURT OF APPEALS, PLACE 9 Do you support changes in the way judges are selected and/or the judicial campaign process? Please explain. How would you balance the time spent by the court in reviewing cases for error and deciding issues of The Fourteenth Court of Appeals District is composed of the counties of Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Trinity, Walker, Waller, and Washington. Eva Guzman Appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to 14th Court of Appeals in 2001 Elected 2002; Participated in hundreds of appellate decisions; Former Trial Court Judge appointed by former Gov. George Bush; Disposed of over 5,000 cases as trial court judge; 10 Years in Private Practice in Civil and Family law matters As an appointed and elected judge, I recognize there are advantages and disadvantages. There are compelling arguments for making changes, but many Texans feel strongly about electing judges. As a strict constructionist, my position is any changes should emanate from and are within the purview of the legislature. With the system in place today, any changes should be directed at preserving the independence of the judiciary and promoting public confidence in the impartiality of judges. The Texas Supreme Court is our state s policy-making court. Courts of appeals are error-correcting courts; and justices on these intermediate courts devote most of their time reviewing cases for error, and applying the law handed down by the Texas Supreme Court. Sometimes intermediate courts are faced with policy issues in areas in which the Texas Supreme Court has not provided guidance, but the cases are rare and require a smaller percentage of time. Lloyd Wayne Oliver I am a 5 th generation Texas and a former Harris County Sheriff s Deputy and prosecutor. I have doctorate degree in law and, and have been in practice for over 27 years. I have tried more cases than I care to remember. Federal Judges are appointed and are not answerable to the people. In Texas we elect judges and if they are bad judges, we elect someone else. Politicians appointing judges will give the people no real voice and will only lead to corruption. Democracy is not perfect nor is our system of electing judges. Both are far better than the alternative. In Texas we elect our Governor, Senators, and members of congress to write the law, enact legislation, implement public policy, and generally do the will of the people. We elect judges to insure that both sides to a controversy follow the law. Our judges are to interpret the law, not make law. If an elected judge wishes to decide issues of broad public policy, he should seek election to legislature. UNOPPOSED COURT OF APPEALS RACES: 1st Court of Appeals, Place 2 (unexpired term) : Jane Bland 1st Court of Appeals, Place 4 : Jim Sharp : Evelyn Keyes 1st Court of Appeals, Place 6 (unexpired term) : George G. Hanks 2nd Court of Appeals, Place 3 : Anne Gardner 2nd Court of Appeals, Place 4 (unexpired term) : Bob McCoy 4th Court of Appeals, Place 6 : Sandee Bryan Marion 4th Court of Appeals, Place 7 : Phylis J. Speedlin 5th Court of Appeals, Place 4 : Carolyn Wright 5th Court of Appeals, Place 7 : Michael J. (Mike) O Neill 5th Court of Appeals, Place 11 : Douglas S. Lang 5th Court of Appeals, Place 13 : Elizabeth Lang Miers 7th Court of Appeals, Place 4 : Jim Campbell 11th Court of Appeals, Place 3 : Terry McCall 12th Court of Appeals, Place 2 : Dianne DeVasto 13th Court of Appeals, Place 3 : Linda Yanez : Alicia Cuellar 14th Court of Appeals, Place 2 : Leslie Brock Yates 7
8 TEXAS POLITICAL PARTY PROCESS Democratic Party of Texas Texas will send 232 delegates and 32 alternates to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, July This plan allocates senatorial district level delegates and alternates through a proportional representation plan, based on the results of the March 9, 2004, presidential primary. Other delegates are allocated to pledged party leaders and elected official delegates and at-large delegates and alternates through a three-tiered caucus/convention system. The Texas Democratic delegation will be elected at a post-primary state convention to be held June 18-19, 2004, in Houston, Texas, and will consist of the following categories and alternates: Pledged Senatorial District-127 delegates (75% of base delegate positions); 21 alternates (65% of alternate positions); 37 unpledged party and elected official delegates; 25 pledged party and elected official delegates and 5 alternates and 43 at-large delegates and 6 alternates. TOTAL: 232 DELEGATES AND 32 ALTERNATES To become a delegate to the Democratic National Convention you must: 1. Vote in the Tuesday, March 9, 2004, Democratic primary; and 2. File a statement of candidacy with the State Chair no later than May 21, 2004 (Filing forms will be available from the Texas Democratic Party by April 5, 2004); and 3. Be elected by the state convention in Houston, which will be held June 18-19, For more information, visit the state party website at Green Party Because none of the Green Party statewide candidates received at least 5 percent of the vote in the 2002 general election, the GPTX will have to collect 45,000 signatures in 2004 to place candidates on the ballot. These signatures must be collected between March and May, (Taken from the web site Libertarian Party The party officially confirms its candidates by convention, not by primary.the Convention process begins on the 9 th of March. On the evening of Tuesday, March 9, the Libertarian Party will hold precinct conventions in counties throughout the state, to select delegates to the county conventions.any registered voter who did not vote in the Democratic or Republican primary may attend a Libertarian precinct convention and automatically become a delegate to the County Convention.There is no fee or other restriction. On Saturday, March 13, County Conventions will confirm Libertarian candidates for precinct and county offices and for some district offices.delegates will also be chosen for District and State conventions.local party officials are also chosen. On Saturday, March 20, District Conventions will confirm Libertarian candidates for other district offices. On Saturday, June 12-14, in College Station, the State Convention will confirm Libertarian candidates for statewide offices, and select party officials and make platform changes. The Libertarian National Convention will select the party s Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates in Atlanta, Georgia, May For more information and the location of Precinct and County Conventions please visit the State Party website at If you do not have access to the Internet website, please call the Libertarian Party of Texas at Republican Party of Texas Election of delegates to the Republican National Convention starts at the precinct convention and moves forward to the district and state conventions. The process also includes congressional district nomination meetings that will propose delegates and alternates to the national convention. The precinct convention will be held immediately after the polls are closed on primary election day. Signs posted outside the polling place will give the time and location. Only residents of the precinct who voted in the Republican primary (including absentees) are eligible to attend the precinct convention. Convention delegates will elect officers and delegates to the senatorial district or county convention (depending on local party structure), and will consider resolutions pertaining to party platform. Anyone attending precinct conventions may nominate an individual to be a delegate, and nominees need not be present. Delegates chosen at this convention must be registered voters in the precinct and must have voted in the March 9 primary. The format will be repeated at the county or state district convention. Before the state convention, congressional district nomination committee meetings will take place. Each presidential candidate entitled to at least one delegate will select a slate of delegates and alternates to represent him or her at the national convention. Each slate will include one nominee for each delegate or alternate to which he or she is entitled. In each congressional caucus the delegates will be able to nominate additional names to be national delegates or alternates. Each delegate or alternate will pledge support to the candidate for three votes. At the state convention, to be held June 3-5 in San Antonio, delegates will elect 90 delegates and 90 alternates in the congressional caucus. Thirty-three delegates and alternates will be elected at-large. Resolutions pertaining to the state party platform will be voted upon. At the national convention, to be held in New York City from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, delegates will elect presidential and vice presidential nominees and adopt a final party platform and rules for the national party. For more information, contact the Republican Party of Texas, 900 Congress Ave., Suite 300, Austin, TX or call (512) , or visit our website at Parties are listed alphabetically on this page.