February 09, 2019

Nathan Hecht is NOW butt-hurt about bad state judges?

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, in discussing bail reform this week, also said he was concerned about the quality of a number of judges elected last November. Given that this was mainly due to a lot of GOP appeals judges losing office, his sudden newfound love for changing the state's method of selecting judges sounds like partisan sour grapes.

After all, nutbar Congresscritter Louie Gohmert, aka Gohmert Pyle, used to be a state district judge.

Sharon Keller, a rank idiot, remains on the Court of Criminal Appeals.

And, Nathan Hecht continues to lead the Texas Supreme Court, for that matter.

A full decade ago, Hecht was challenged over ethics issues.

Cry me a river.

==

That said, setting partisanship issues aside, Hecht is right. Texas' method of selecting state judges sucks.

New Mexico, which has a state judicial nominations committee making recommendations to the governor, followed by one partisan election and then retention elections after that, is much better. Colorado and Arizona go yet further, and provide voter information in retention elections; Colorado has this done by its state nominations committee while Arizona has a separate committee that does midterm private evaluations as well as retention election public ones. New Mexico also requires a four-sevenths supermajority in retention elections.

New Mexico, Arizona, and other states also provide at least partial public financing, on a voluntary opt-in basis, for state judicial candidates.

More on New Mexico's system here. More on Arizona's review commission, along with alleged reforms in Texas on campaign finance for judges and four other state-level reforms here.

In short, Texas can do better. When Arizona, even more wingnut, does something like this better, you have a problem.

1 comment:

Smokey_the cat said...

Good stuff.
This is why I like your page- it's real journalism.