Theodore's World: Rick Perry Has 10 Year Track Record Of Appointing Conservative Judges

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October 31, 2011

Rick Perry Has 10 Year Track Record Of Appointing Conservative Judges

The single biggest consideration in a presidential candidate IMHO is their choice of Supreme Court Justices. Perry has a 10 yr track record of appointing nothing but conservatives - No Harriet Myers or David Souters. Only one judge that he has appointed has ever lost reelection. THERE IS NO GUESSING AS TO WHAT KIND OF JUDGE HE WILL APPOINT.


Supreme Court Is Elected, but Bears Perry’s Stamp

New York Times

In Texas, virtually all judges are elected. But since he took office in 2000, Gov. Rick Perry has picked most of the winners on the state’s highest civil court, the Texas Supreme Court.

For example, in June 2010 Mr. Perry appointed Debra Lehrmann to fill out the term of Harriet O’Neill, who had stepped down. Last November, in her first general election, Ms. Lehrmann went on to handily win a six-year term

To date, only one of Mr. Perry’s 10 Supreme Court appointees has lost a subsequent election to the court. In 2002, Xavier Rodriguez was defeated in the Republican primary, his first. Observers at the time attributed the loss to his Hispanic last name.

Like his predecessors “for generations,” according to Judge Don Willett of the State Supreme Court, Mr. Perry has had the opportunity to appoint so many justices in part because of a financial disincentive for judges to remain on the bench once they are eligible to retire with full state benefits and a pension. Salaries in the private sector can be very alluring.

“The salary economics are pretty stark,” Judge Willett said in an e-mail, adding, “It’s unfortunate when elected officials, judges included, exit before serving their full terms, but the math is unrelenting.”

Second, running as an incumbent, even a newly minted one, has advantages. Donors and lobbying groups are reluctant to go against a sitting justice, or one who has the governor’s stamp of approval.

Whatever the cause, the result is a mostly Perry-appointed Supreme Court that Alex Winslow, the executive director of the liberal consumer advocacy group Texas Watch, said had upheld the governor’s “staunchly pro-defendant and anti-consumer” ideals. (The state’s highest court in criminal matters is the Court of Criminal Appeals.)

Mr. Winslow’s organization analyzed the Supreme Court’s decisions during the 2008-9 term and found that it sided with consumers in 27 percent of cases involving an individual against a corporation or government agency — and it reversed jury verdicts in 72 percent of cases.

But Todd Olsen, a Republican consultant who runs judicial campaigns and is a former vice president of Karl Rove & Company, argues that studies trying to prove that the justices vote as a “Perry block” are problematic and do not account for all variables.

“I don’t think there’s anything clear there,” Mr. Olsen said. “It’s really hard to do a study like that. There are judges who have all had lots of experience. That’s the one thing that is in common among all of them."

Judge Willett took over his predecessor’s six-year term with 15 months remaining when Mr. Perry appointed him in 2005. He said the governor had chosen judges who reflected his judicial philosophy, which Judge Willett described as “unabashedly conservative.” Mr. Perry, he said, understands the importance of judicial appointments and would carry that understanding into the White House were he elected president.

“If you’re president, it’s often your court appointments that seal your legacy with a capital L,” the judge said. “I’m confident Governor Perry gets that, consummately.
“He doesn’t do squishy. His judicial picks, from the Supreme Court on down, will not be philosophical ciphers, but impeccably credentialed conservative stalwarts who act judicially by adjudicating, not politically by legislating.”


Wild Thing's comment..........

For me Perry gets a resounding YESSSSS for President.

Posted by Wild Thing at October 31, 2011 05:45 AM


Making federal judicial appointments is why we need to get rid of obama and replace him with a true conservative. Perry would be the best candidate to make these conservative appointments.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at October 31, 2011 02:42 PM

Tom,I agree, he does have a history of being really good about this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 1, 2011 04:59 AM