FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2019
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN — Today, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appointed Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa to the Texas Commission on Judicial Selection to conduct an interim study on how the state should select its judges in the future. The 15-member Commission will review the method by which appellate court judges and trial court judges having county-wide jurisdiction are selected for office in Texas. The study must consider the fairness, effectiveness, and desirability of selecting the judges through partisan elections, as well as judicial selection methods proposed or adopted by other states.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement on the importance of this study and the need for a non-partisan, consistent, fair, and highly qualified judiciary:
"I appreciate the appointment to the Texas Commission on Judicial Selection," said Senator Hinojosa. "Texas is one of only six states that uses partisan elections to select all of its judges. The judiciary is an equal branch of our government. Judges undertake an essential role in our society that requires their consistency and objectivity to the rule of law and resolution of disputes. To maintain trust in our courts, judges must apply the law in an impartial and competent manner to achieve the fair dispensation of justice. I look forward to working with the members of the Commission to study this issue and make recommendations for the next legislative session."
Based on the findings of study, the Commission will prepare a report with recommendations on methods for selecting judges that ensure a fair, impartial, qualified, competent, and stable judiciary. The Commission must report its findings and recommendations by December 31, 2020. Any major reform resulting from the recommendations would require a constitutional amendment, which can only be passed with two-thirds support of each chamber of the legislature and majority approval of the voters.