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Senator Judith Zaffirini: District 21
Press Release
June 2, 2022
Contact: Laura Felix
(512) 463-0121
Senator Zaffirini Receives Liberty Bell Award from Webb County Bar
Award Reflects Legislator's Impact on the Law

(AUSTIN)—The Laredo-Webb County Bar Association honored Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, with the 2022 Liberty Bell Award at a luncheon in their hometown.

Bestowed upon the non-lawyer with the greatest impact on the law, the Liberty Bell honors persons or organizations who promote better understanding of the rule of law, encourage greater respect for law and the courts, stimulate a sense of civic responsibility or contribute to good government in the community.

"We often give an award to honor the recipient. Today the recipient honors the award," Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht said. "The Liberty Bell Award's prestige is enhanced in being given to Senator Judith Zaffirini."

Witnessing cronyism and corruption in Laredo courts many years ago motivated Senator Zaffirini to partner with local attorneys and judges to pass legislation requiring the rotation of appointments; the reporting of court-approved payments; and the definition of new standards of accountability, transparency and excellence.

"Rather than be discouraged, we responded to a negative local situation by developing solutions," Senator Zaffirini said. "Not only do these laws make a positive statewide impact, but they now comprise models for other states."

Her additional judicial successes include eliminating unconstitutional debtors’ prisons by providing judges with alternatives to incarceration; simplifying court fees for criminal and civil cases and promoting equal access to the legal system; and establishing the Guardianship Abuse, Fraud and Exploitation Deterrence Program.

In her acceptance speech she emphasized the importance of attorneys' role in the legislative process. "Lawyers are largely responsible for legislators' best work,” she said, “by drafting most of the bills we file; advising us whether to support, oppose or amend bills proposed by others; and helping us understand the impact of statutes we’ve created, hope to create or need to improve."

Senator Zaffirini has received more than 1,100 awards, including the State Bar of Texas Judicial Section's "Friend of the Judiciary" award.

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SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-LAREDO received the Liberty Bell Award from the Laredo-Webb County Barr Association. She is the second highest-ranking senator and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator.