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We Are Afraid to Name and Shame

Houston DWI lawyer Paul B. Kennedy (The Defense Rests) complains about Carpet bagging [visiting] judges:

In the meantime, those who were tossed out of office by the public continue to preside over trials because their buddies and former colleagues keep using them as visiting judges. It’s a process that needs to stop.

While it is true that the drafters of Texas’s constitution wanted judges to be subject to the will of the people, I don’t agree with Paul that judges whom voters have rejected should not be able to sit as visiting judges. The drafters of the Texas Constitution got it wrong. As a result of our partisan judicial elections, the voters hire many incompetents (see, for example, Ruben Guerrero) and fire many great judges (see, for example, Caprice Cosper).

The point, in my view, is that our sitting judges—the “buddies and former colleagues” that Kennedy refers tocontinue allowing lousy former judges (whether retired or fired) to preside over trials.


In his post, Paul doesn’t name the visiting judge.

He doesn’t name the sitting judge.

He doesn’t even give the number of the court.

That’s why.


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