I and other peeps in the Lone Star State are justifiably angry about the predictable ruling that came out of our all Republican Texas Supreme Court (SCOTX) on May 15.
Wouldn’t be surprised if they were probably motivated by and ‘scurred’ of the fact that four of them are facing reelection this November and possibly may not be sitting in those cushy leather seats next year.
After taking L’s at the state district court and 14th Court of Appeals level on the question of expanding mail in ballot access in the midst of COVID 19 fears, indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) appealed to the Republican controlled Texas Supreme Court to halt progress on getting mail in ballot voting in place in time for the 2020 election this November.
There are fears that another nastier wave of COVID 19 will strike this fall. We have already witnessed 70 people testing positive for the Trump Virus after another GOP controlled state Supreme Court in Wisconsin issued partisan rulings that forced people to vote in person during their primary back on April 7.
Wanting to avoid that disastrous scenario, Texas voting right advocates and the Texas Democratic Party have been pushing for expanded access to mail in ballots for this upcoming election.
But fears of another blue tsunami coming November 3 have skittish Republicans being hypocritically opposed to expanding mail in ballot access, a method they frequently use.
Paxton cited their usual ‘voter fraud’
talking points lie to weakly justify opposing it in a letter he sent to the SCOTX last Wednesday urging them to halt progress on expanded mail in ballots,
“Among the State’s highest and most profound interests is protecting the integrity of its elections,” Paxton wrote Wednesday. “To advance that interest, the Texas Legislature requires almost every voter to vote by personal appearance at a designated polling place, where trained poll workers confirm the voter’s identity before issuing him a ballot.”Yeah right, miss me with that BS, since you Republicans are committing much of the voter fraud you claim to be trying to prevent. You’re also cynically using COVID 19 as a new tool to try to suppress turnout.
The partisan SCOTX ruling means that while the merits of the case are being decided, nothing can happen until the appeal of the state district court case moves forward through the legal system.
And while we wait for Lord knows how long that to happen, that delays efforts for Lone State State election officials to get prepared to implement and administer an election that uses vote by mail ballots.
While Patton and Texas republicans by extension were pleased with Friday’s ruling, Texas Dems and voting rights advocates justifiably put the partisan unjust ruling on blast.
”This is a dark day for our democracy. The Republican Texas Supreme Court is voting to force the people of Texas to choose between their health and their right to vote. They would have Texans die, just so they can hold on to power, “said Texas Democratic party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.
“Voters should have the ability to vote by mail during a pandemic if they feel their health is in danger. Every single justice who ruled today should be ashamed of themselves. They are the new Republican death panel, Hinojosa added. .
Yeah Chairman Hinojosa, the Republicans in Texas and everywhere else in the US , including the White house, have made it clear they want the rest of us who aren’t 1% cishetero conservative white males to die.
And while we wait for that to happen, that delays efforts for Lone State State election officials to get prepared to implement and administer an election that uses vote by mail ballots.
So yeah, be mad about this ruling. But just being angry about this ruling doesn’t do squat to change the fact that all nine seats on the Texas Supreme Court are still GOP controlled.
But punishing them at the polls will.
As I like to say, the best way to get back at a politician who pissed you off is to make then an EX-politician. Translation: I take my anger at the stuff Republican politicians do by heading to my fave early voting location and firing them.
Four members of the GOP SCOTX have terms expiring in 2020. They are Jane Bland in Place 6, Jeffery Boyd in Place 7, J. Brett Busby in Place 8 and Chief Justice Nathan Hecht .
They are being opposed by Democrats Kathy Cheng, who is running for Place 6, Judge Staci Williams for Place 7, and Judge Gisela Triana in Place 8. Judge Amy Clark Meachum is running for SCOTX Chief Justice.
Cheng is a Houston area attorney who previously ran for SCOTX Place 6 in the 2018 cycle, won in the primary, but unfortunately lost in the general election to then incumbent Justice Jeff Brown. After winning that full four year term, he was subsequently appointed to a federal judicial bench by Trump.
That has given Cheng another shot at the Place 6 seat, this time against Bland, who was appointed to the seat by Governor Abbott in September 2019.
Judge Staci Williams has served as the judge of the Dallas based 101st District court since 2014.
She handily won reelection to her 101st District Court bench in 2018, and will be the Democratic candidate for SCOTX Place 7 taking on Justice Boyd..
Judge Gisela Triana has served since 2018 as a judge on the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals Place 6 seat, based in Austin. She will be the Democratic nominees for the SCOTX Place 8 seat held by Justice Busby, who like Bland, was appointed to fill the seat by Governor Abbott in February 2019.
Judge Amy Clark Meachum, who currently serves on the 201st District Court, in Travis County (Austin for you non Texans) is running for Chef Justice. She has served on the 201st bench since 2010, and was reelected in 2014 and 2018
Normally only two to three SCOTX judges are up for reelection in a cycle. Because we had one move up to the federal bench after the 2018 election, we have a rare opportunity as liberal progressive Texans to potentially flip four seats and dramatically speed up the day the Texas Supreme Court flips to Democratic control
That tantalizing possibility of the SCOTX speedily flipping has Greg Abbott, Potty Dan Patrick and other Texas GOP politicians quaking in their cowboy boots.
So yes, I’m painfully aware that elections matter, and since we have for now partisan election of judges in the Lone Star State, having Democratic judges matters
The late Nikki Araguz Loyd, if she were still with us, would tell you how much it matters.
She lost the first round of her trans marriage case in state district court, but it was overturned at the Democratically controlled 10th Court of Appeals level.
It was waiting for a hearing at the SCOTX level when the Obergefell SCOTUS marriage case dropped and made her and the Texas trans community a winner.
I’m still pissed off about the partisan July 2015 SCOTX ruling that forced the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance onto the 2015 ballot and its subsequent repeal that November.
It’s past time to end Texas Republican control of the SCOTX, and we liberal progressive Texans need to seize the opportunity to do so now. Will do us no good to flip the Texas House and start the process of flipping the Texas Senate if a conservative SCOTX remains to stymie any progressive legislative and legal progress Texas sorely with their partisan rulings.
It’s also past time that the SCOTX looked like and reflected the diversity and life experiences of all Texans, instead of being overwhelmingly comprised of conservative white males
By electing Judge Amy Clark Meachum, Judge Gisela Triana, Judge Staci Williams and Kathy Cheng this November, you will ensure that the SCOTX not only looks like the people of the state of Texas, you will ensure that the Texas Supreme Court finally has fairness and justice on it.
So let’s get that party started, shall we?