How Proposition Four and Proposition Five Affect How Judges are Elected

by Ricardo Barrera

How Proposition Four and Proposition Five Affect How Judges are Elected

As reported by Channel 4 Valley Central News, two of the eight proposed Texas state constitutional amendments concern who can run for judge and what candidates can do during their campaign.

In Texas, judges are elected. Currently, candidates must have four years of experience. Proposition Four would amend the requirement to eight years’ experience practicing law.

Additionally, Proposition Four stipulates that candidates for the Texas Court of Appeals or the Texas Supreme Court would have to have ten years of experience practicing law in Texas. Currently, these positions require eight years’ experience and allow for experience in states other than Texas.

Channel 4 Valley Central News contacted Attorney Ricardo Barrera who explains that:

“The idea behind it is so that you don’t have a person riding a purely political wave without qualifications and experience to rule on the very important things they need to rule on.”

He adds that the proposed stricter rules “actually increases the quality of the choices you get to make” for the positions.

Proposition Five extends the power of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate candidates running for judge. Currently, the Commission can investigate judges for statements made while campaigning. Proposition Five would allow the Commission to investigate statements made by a candidate whether they are already a judge or not.

Ricardo Barrera comments that:

“That is incredibly important because a judicial candidate, for example, may make a claim on how they would rule in certain types of cases or what they would do.”

He adds that, because of the power they hold, it is important for judges to be elected based on their ability, not their beliefs.

“Courts in our county control everything from children to juvenile conduct to the disposition of property, all the way to challenges on taxes and, of course, protecting the public from crime.”

See the Channel 4 Valley Central News report here.

Civil, family, and criminal law issues can be complex. It’s important to retain a qualified attorney to assist you in legal matters. Please call The Barrera Law Firm at (956) 428-2822 or contact us online for a free 15-minute consultation.



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