We're liveblogging the sessions from the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival's Justice track. The sessions include panels on criminal justice reform, the Texas Supreme Court, same-sex marriage and the death penalty.
Not to be-Labor the point, but on this Day when we pause to celebrate the men and women of Texas (and elsewhere) who work for a living, we thought we'd show off the sweat and toil of our crack interviewers. Nearly every Trib reporter has sat down with a few of the most interesting and newsworthy Texans over the last few months: current and former elected officials, authors and activists, operatives and candidates, and policy wonks of all types and stripes. Thus far we've conducted 37 so-called "TT Interviews" (a respectful riff on the Rolling Stone Interviews that many of us grew up reading) and presented them as audio, video, a transcript or some combination of the above. This non-narrative form is an effective and compelling way to tell the unfiltered stories of Texas politics, public policy and government; enjoy. And happy holiday.
The Texas Supreme Court justice-to-be (she'll take retiree Harriet O'Neill's seat on June 21) talks about about judicial elections, the recent ethics complaint filed against her and what happens when she disagrees with the law.
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Judge Debra Lehrmann to the Place 3 seat that Harriet O’Neill will soon vacate on the Texas Supreme Court. Lehrmann, a Fort Worth District Court judge, won the Republican nomination for that seat in a runoff against former state Rep. Rick Green, R-Dripping Springs.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill, who isn't seeking reelection to the court, also isn't finishing her term. She told Gov. Rick Perry and the other members of the court today that she will step down from the bench on June 20.
Today’s elections in 18 Texas primary races, all but two involving Republicans, probably won't change the overall temperature of the statehouse or our delegation to Congress. The partisan makeup of those places isn't at stake until November. But for three House incumbents and challengers in two other races — for the State Board of Education and the Texas Supreme Court — how the vote turns out is a big deal.
If Rick Green wins his runoff against Debra Lehrmann on Tuesday, Democrats will be licking their chops — but do they really have a shot of occupying their first Texas Supreme Court seat in more than 10 years?
Low voter turnout means that in a downballot statewide race like that between Debra Lehrmann and Rick Green the winner could be decided by chance — whose name comes first, or whose name sounds the friendliest. Green and Lehrmann are working to combat that dynamic in an unlikely place: Lubbock.
Ever since his narrow March 2 win set off a collective grumble from the legal establishment, there’s been a movement afootto shore up support for his runoff opponent. Now the fruits of those efforts have ripened.
As the last numbers crept in late Tuesday night, there were no surprises in the contested races for the seats on the state’s highest civil court. Voters will return to the polls again in April to see who will take over Harriet O’Neill’s old spot, and Rose Vela didn’t manage an upset against recent appointee Eva Guzman.
As of early Wednesday morning, Rick Green has barely broken from the crowd of six GOP candidates vying for the open spot on the High Court, and a runoff is guaranteed. What's unclear is who his opponent will be — Rebecca Simmons, Jim Moseley, and Debra Lehrmann are all hovering close behind. It's likely Jeff Brown, who narrowly trails those three, won't make the cut. The only clear loser of the night is Rick Strange, who didn't keep up with the pack.