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New felony court coming

Your 2022 ballot is about to get longer.

A new Harris County felony court will open Sept. 1 after decades of population growth and no new criminal district judges.

The addition comes as judges, prosecutors, administrators and defense attorneys battle a massive backlog in the criminal courts, with almost 98,000 docketed cases near the end of July. Almost 54,000 of those cases were felonies, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

The 22 existing felony judges are each juggling an average of 2,392 cases on their dockets, county data shows.

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 18 signed the existence of the 482nd district court into law. He has not yet selected a judge, and the 11th Administrative Judicial Region of Texas will make a jurist available until an official appointment takes place, said Harris County district court administrator Clay Bowman.

All of the current felony judges are elected Democrats, meaning Abbott could appoint a lone Republican to the bench.

“Will appoint a Republican”, you mean. That person will very likely be voted out next November. There are already going to be a lot of contested Democratic primaries for the judicial positions. This one will surely draw a crowd as well, it just won’t be against a Democratic incumbent.

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3 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    39 days and counting………

  2. Kibitzer says:

    THE RELEVANT COLOR IS RED

    Re: “Will appoint a Republican”, you mean.

    Indeed, that can be taken for granted. Additionally, the appointee must be facially identified (for all the skin-tone-conscious folks out there) and will be litmus-tested.

    “After completing the application, send it, along with a resume and photograph, to the Governor’s Appointments Office. The photograph does not need to be studio quality; it is for office use only. For judicial appointments, a completed Judicial Questionnaire is required as well.”

    Link for the judicial screening instrument, including the litmus test:

    https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/organization/appointments/Abbott_Judicial_Questionnaire.pdf

    Two of the items:

    13. Pick a U.S. Supreme Court decision that you think was wrongly decided, and
    explain why you think it was wrongly decided.

    16. Under what circumstances is it appropriate for a state court to declare
    unconstitutional a statute passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by the
    Governor?

    Hint, hint … need we say more?

    Here is another interesting one:

    20. Describe any other political activities (e.g., campaign manager, fundraising,
    treasurer, poll watcher) in which you have actively participated in the past ten (10) years.

  3. I am glad to hear that there will be a lot of contested Democratic primaries next year for judicial positions. Law enforcement officers have been doing their jobs, investigating crimes and making felony arrests. Unfortunately, some local Criminal District Court judges have been repeatedly releasing violent, felony defendants from jail on bond, essentially ignoring the threat to the public. It’s no wonder our violent crime rate is surging in Harris County. When our elected judges blatantly disregard public safety and keep releasing violent, felony defendants back into the community, it’s time for us to elect some new judges.

    So, who are these local judges and what exactly have they been doing? Fortunately, local Channel 26 News has documented some of this reckless judicial behavior in their detailed “Breaking Bond” investigative series — please click on the link below for more details. You will see how reckless bonding decisions made by our judges have directly impacted people’s lives. Clearly, local judicial elections can have dire consequences for all of us.

    https://www.harriscountydemocrats.com/post/july-update-channel-26-breaking-bond-series-to-restore-public-safety-we-need-new-judges

    For more on this topic, please visit my website at HarrisCountyDemocrats.com.