Create a whole new court

0
2


HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick addresses the crowd before President Donald Trump took the stage for a rally in support of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on October 22, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Cruz, the incumbent, is seeking Senate re-election in a high-profile race against Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke. (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who presides over the state Senate

Following the recent withdrawal of a bill that would have allowed GOP lawmakers to redraw Texas’ appellate court districts to Republicans’ advantage, state Senate Republicans have surfaced a different approach to limiting the power of Democratic judges. Legislators passed a bill this week that would leave the current appeals court districts in place but create an entirely new appeals court with five judges elected statewide who would seize the existing court’s purview over lawsuits that challenge state laws or are directed at state agencies.

Such cases are currently heard mostly by the state’s 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin, a district Republicans drew back in 2005 in part to dilute the impact of Democratic voters in Austin by combining them with rural, heavily Republican counties. But subsequent population growth in the suburbs, combined with a profound shift to the left among urban and suburban voters during the Trump era, saw Democrats gain control over this court district in 2018, which now has a 5-1 Democratic majority.

If this bill becomes law, those five new statewide judges would likely be Republicans, given that Democrats haven’t won a statewide election for any office in Texas since 1994. That may not last, however: The trends that saw the Austin court district shift from red to blue are playing out across the state as a whole, so switching to statewide elections could eventually backfire on the GOP. But before that day comes, Republicans could simply enact yet another change to keep the courts on their side.





Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here