Friday, August 1, 2008

Judge Jim Jordan for Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court

Those hard at work to get Democrats elected in Texas will urge you to vote “down ballot.” Said another way, “please continue selecting Democratic Candidate ballot choices all the way down to the end of the ballot” after you have selected your Presidential choice at the top of the ballot.

It is important to study all the candidates and make an informed decision from your Presidential Candidate choice all the way down to whichever candidate is named last on the ballot.

Casting your vote to elect Judge Jim Jordan as Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court is an example of how to bring about change in Texas.

Judge Jordan believes, “A judge wears a black robe -- not a red or blue robe.

Here are three things Judge Jordan wants to address:

1. Fix the current, growing, backlog in the Texas courts

We need to demand that the court release statistics on backlogged cases by judge. In 2000 there were 102 cases pending; in 2007, there were 177!

Although each justice is obligated do his or her own part to work to reduce the backlog and to timely work on the matters assigned to them, the Chief Justice is uniquely positioned, as the leader of the court, to use peer pressure and bring appropriate and effective procedures to bear on the backlog problem. The fact that the public awareness of the backlog has spurred recent activity by the court demonstrates that transparency and pressure can have a beneficial effect.

2. Stop the bias in favor of insurance and corporate parties.

Judge Jordan states that “decisions should be based upon the law and the constitution, not upon the justices’ political views or to advance a personal agenda.”

The legal community has noticed this trend, and recent studies have confirmed it. Professor David Anderson of the University of Texas School of Law wrote an article last year (“Judicial Tort Reform in Texas”) where he concluded based upon empirical data gathered for the years 2005 and 2006 and upon an analysis of the court’s opinions during this time that the court was serving a political ideology. His study found that the Supreme Court has been in favor of business and insurance defendants more that 85% of the time and that jury verdicts overturned by the court had all been in favor of the plaintiffs. While I believe it is dangerous to determine the quality of a justice by keeping a keep score card of who wins and who looses, these numbers are overwhelming.

3. Remove the selection of judges from partisan politics

The influence of politics and money in the selection and retention of judges is harmful to a fair judicial system. Partisan political elections on a November ballot where judicial candidates raise money almost exclusively from attorneys and parties who appear in their court erode trust in our judicial system. However, we can start making a difference now by making sure that when the Governor appoints a judge to complete the term of a resigning judge, the nominee goes through a rigorous public examination to ensure we select judges with the proper qualifications, experience and judicial temperament, rather than for their ability to help the party in power.

Visit Judge Jordan's website for more information, including his answers to a Dallas Morning News questionnaire.

Watch as Judge Jim Johnson Speaks at the 2008 Texas Democratic Convention

The Texas Democratic Women of Collin County (TDWCC) recently endorsed Judge Jim Jordan for the office of Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. TDWCC membership voted to make a $1000 contribution to Jordan's campaign coffers on July 23, 2008. The picture at left shows Judge Jim Jordan with Barb Walters, TDWCC President, on July 28 at the organization's monthly membership meeting where he received the TDWCC's $1000 contribution.

You can review Judge Jordan’s responses to the position questionnaire submitted to him by the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County (TDWCC) and discover why the TDWCC endorses him for the office of Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

Judge Jordan’s qualifications and experience are above reproach:

Judicial Experience:
  • Judge 160th District Court; former judge 44th District Court.
Leadership experience:
  • Elected by 39 fellow District Court Judges as the Local Administrative District Judge of Dallas County, Texas; Former President, Garland Bar Association.
Legal Experience:
  • Board Certified Civil Trial since 1984; Served two terms District 6A Texas Bar Grievance Committee; Teacher of trial advocacy trial skills at SMU and LSU law schools and at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

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