Whats in a Name?
Trial lawyers make a cynical play for the Texas Supreme Court, Place 9
This is another post on the races currently underway for three seats on the Texas Supreme Court. I have previously written (here and here) about the race between incumbent Justice Debra Lehrmann and challenger Justice Michael Massengale for Place 3, and the potentially confusing race between incumbent Justice Paul W. Green and challenger Rick Green for Place 5. In this post I discuss the race between incumbent Justice Eva Guzman and challenger Joe Pool Jr. for Place 9. Why am I writing about this? First of all, I am a (retired) lawyer and legal blogger living in Texas, and the composition of the state supreme court — although sometimes overlooked — is very important to all Texans. Second, thanks to landmark tort-reform legislation passed in 2003, Texas’s legal system is widely regarded as the most business-friendly in the United States, a welcome respite from the rampant plaintiff-orientation so common elsewhere. Texas’s legal system, including its judiciary, is a national model. Third, elections in Texas have national implications. Texas is the nation’s most populous and consequential Red state: All statewide elected officials (including both U.S. senators) are Republican; both chambers of the state legislature are controlled by lopsided GOP majorities; and, due to its 38 electoral votes (second greatest of any state, trailing only California), Texas is an influential player in presidential politics. Home of Bush 41 and Bush 43, Texas boasts recent (former governor Rick Perry) and current (Senator Ted Cruz) presidential candidates. Unlike Las Vegas, what happens in Texas doesn’t stay here.
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