AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the first meeting of the Texas Commission on Judicial Selection:
“I was surprised by news reports today indicating there may be support for abandoning the long-time democratic practice of partisan election of judges by the Texas Commission on Judicial Selection before the commission begins their hearings. The purpose of the Texas Commission on Judicial Selection is to examine a number of issues regarding the judiciary and make recommendations. I expect the members to have an open mind on every issue – including the partisan election of judges – with the single goal of making sure Texas continues to maintain one of the best judicial systems in the country. Texans feel strongly about voting for their judges. The commission will need to make a compelling argument to the people and legislators to change the current system. I do not believe that support exists today.”
Senator Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, one of Lt. Gov. Patrick’s appointees to the commission, was in Washington, D.C. on Thursday for a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery and was unable to attend the meeting.
“I approach every assignment I receive from the lieutenant governor with due diligence, and he knows I am always committed to stand by principle. There is no greater principle than the consent of the governed – including the ability of citizens to vote for their judges. My center of gravity is always the citizens of Texas and I look forward to serving them on the Texas Commission on Judicial Selection.”
Patrick also appointed Senators Joan Huffman, R-Houston, Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, to the Texas Commission on Judicial Selection.