Judge Caprice Cosper

 Posted on May 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

In November there are seven incumbent "Republican" felony court judges up for reelection in Harris County. I put the party affiliation in quotes because (A) judges should not be elected in partisan elections; and (B) the best of these judges don't act as though their party affiliation has anything to do with their judging.

All of Harris County's elected officials are Republicans, and have been for years. There was a Republican sweep back in '94 or '96 that cleared the last of the Democrats out of the Harris County criminal courthouse.

AHCL and I agree that there is at least one district court judge who should not be returning for another term in 2009 (I'm serving as campaign treasurer for his opponent, Shawna Reagin). But we probably disagree on how many good judges losing their benches would be acceptable collateral damage in the quest for change in the criminal judiciary.

I've written before that I think that sweeping the incumbents out of office would, on balance, be a good thing. Judges need to remember whom they serve, and the tree of liberty etc.

Infinitely better, though, would be if the voters were intelligent enough to carefully vote for some new judges as well as some incumbents.

Other than the judge of the 176th District Court against whom Shawna Reagin is running, I'm not going to publicly suggest which judges might better serve the people of Harris County by staying home than by returning to the bench in January.

After all, I have clients, and while none of these judges are doing my clients any favors, my clients are not necessarily well-served by my pointing out which judges have become so miserable on the bench that they, as well as their constituents, would probably be happier if they took off their long black dresses and resumed golfing or took up gardening.

I will, however, point out one shining example of a judge who should absolutely not be taking up golf or gardening any time soon: Judge Caprice Cosper of the 339th District Court.

I say this of the only judge who has ever held me in contempt, as the only lawyer she has ever held in contempt: Judge Cosper is one of the judges who should be reelected and keep on judging. She is smart, fair, and just. When a client's case lands in her court, I know that he will get a fair shake, which is more than can be said for more than one of the incumbents. If you didn't know the shared party affiliation of all of Harris County's judges, you might never guess hers.

There are judges up for reelection who treat the defense poorly, and at least one judge up for reelection who treats both sides atrociously. Judge Cosper treats everyone with courtesy and respect.

When the prosecutorial blogger known as "A Houston Criminal Lawyer" and I agree on something, as we agree on Judge Cosper's reelection, we must be right.

(Lest any of the other incumbent candidates get any bright ideas for garnering my support, my support for Judge Cosper is not because of the contempt.)

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