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O’Neill to resign from Supreme Court

State Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill, who announced last year that she would not run for re-election, has now announced that she will step down from the Court in June.

She told Gov. Rick Perry and the other members of the court today that she will step down from the bench on June 20.

O’Neill, a Republican initially elected to the court in 1998, has been a judge for 18 years. She announced last year she wouldn’t seek reelection and there’s been wide speculation that she would leave the court before her term ends in January. The governor gets to appoint someone to serve the rest of the term. Among the choices are the three candidates who’ve been nominated by the major parties: Republican Debra Lehrmann, Democrat Jim Sharp, and Libertarian William Bryan Strange III. Perry isn’t bound to choose any of them, but naming, say, Lehrmann, would give her the fundraising advantages of an incumbent appellate judge.

I think the odds that Perry names Lehrmann to replace O’Neill are approximately 100%, unless Lehrmann for some odd reason asks not to be named. Honestly, there’s no good reason for him to do otherwise. As an added bonus, he’d then get to name Lehrmann’s successor to her District Court bench in Tarrant County. Barring anything strange, I don’t see how this doesn’t happen.

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  1. […] is exactly what I expected when Justice O’Neill announced she was stepping down. Any other outcome would have been a […]