Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals, Place 6
6-year term. Must be age 35-74 years, a U.S. Citizen, a Texas resident, licensed to practice law in Texas, a registered voter, and have at least 10 years experience as a lawyer or judge. Hears appeals on civil and criminal cases from lower courts in its district.Período de 6 años. Debe tener una edad de 35-74 años, ser ciudadano estadounidense, residente de Texas, con licencia para practicar leyes en Texas, ser un votante registrado y tener por lo menos 10 años de experiencia como abogado o juez. Escucha apelaciones en casos civiles y penales de tribunales de primera instancia en su distrito.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
Donna Davidson (Rep)
Attorney and Ethics Advisor
Michael "Mike" Toth (Rep)
Special Counsel, Attorney General's Office
What training, experience, and characteristics qualify you for this position?
Access to Justice:
What recent developments, such as improved DNA testing, provide opportunities to improve the state's indigent defense system in civil and criminal cases appealed from district and county courts?
Which responsibility of a Court of Appeals justice and is your highest priority and how do you intend to accomplish it?
University of Texas School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence
University of Texas, Bachelor of Journalism
Mission High School , Texas
EXPERIENCED: 25 years as attorney and ethics advisor
TRUSTED: Legal counsel for Governors Perry and Bush/
General Counsel for the Republican Party and elected officials
TEXAN: Born in Texas; UT Law graduate
CONSERVATIVE: will uphold the rule of law
The Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals set the policies relating to the state’s indigent defense system and the recent developments relating to electronic filing is an improvement as it will lessen costs for pro se litigants.
My highest priority as a justice is to closely follow the text of the law - not legislate from the bench. The Texas Constitution creates three separate branches of government: the legislature passes law; the executive carries out the law; and the court interprets and applies the law. I will follow this constitutional structure and abide by the rule of law, with God's help.
Stanford University, B.A. (History), with highest honors.
University of Virginia, J.D./M.A. (History)
I have dedicated my life to public service. After graduating from Stanford University I served as a White House staffer. Following the events of 9/11, I was inspired to join the Marine Corps. I spent four years on active duty as a Marine attorney, before joining the Reserves, where I am a Major today. I have worked as an attorney for two federal judges and in the Texas Attorney General's Office - first as a litigator and now as Special Counsel on AG Paxton's leadership team. As a Marine and as an attorney, I have protected Texans, the rule of law and the Constitution.
Access to our judicial system for all Texans, including indigent defendants, needs to be user-friendly. Courts must provide clear guidance and easy-to-follow forms that all parties can complete and file. More communication between trial and appellate courts as to what attorneys are ably representing indigent defendants is crucial. It is also important for the legal profession to find ways to match pro bono lawyers, seeking appellate opportunities, with indigent defendants to ensure effective representation.
The highest responsibility of a Court of Appeals justice is ensuring that the Constitution and the law are interpreted correctly and in line with their original meaning. All Texans deserve a predictable, stable, and consistent judicial system. The key to ensuring the important goal of a sound judiciary is maintenance of the rule of law at every level. As a Marine officer, I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. As a judge, I will take a similar oath. Working diligently, and with God's help, I will strive every day to fulfill my obligations to my fellow citizens and to the Constitution under that oath, just as I have faithfully done as a Marine officer and attorney for Texas.
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