Houston Matters

Should Texas Judges Be Attached to a Political Party?

Across the country, you’ll find different systems in place for naming and retaining judges. In some states, judges are named by the executive branch and approved or rejected by the legislature. In others, judges are named and then face “retention elections” at regular intervals when voters can choose to retain or dismiss the judge. Here […]

Michael Hagerty, Houston Public Media

Across the country, you’ll find different systems in place for naming and retaining judges. In some states, judges are named by the executive branch and approved or rejected by the legislature. In others, judges are named and then face “retention elections” at regular intervals when voters can choose to retain or dismiss the judge. Here in Texas, we have full-fledged elections for fixed terms for both state and appellate judges, and candidates for judge must declare a party affiliation. Some would like to see that changed.

Today, we discuss the history of judicial elections in Texas, and consider whether Texas judges should continue to be associated with political parties.

We talk with David Furlow, executive editor of The Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Journal, and Richard Murray, political science professor from the University of Houston.

MORE: Electing Judges Yet Again Allows Name Recognition to Trump Experience (Houston Chronicle, March 2, 2016)

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