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Supreme Court Justice Leaked Audio Divides GOP

via Supreme Court of Texas
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Audio emerged of Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine.

Texas Supreme Court

via Dolcefino Consulting

Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine faces a primary challenge from appellate Judge Brian Walker, who has criticized Devine’s record on ethics and impartiality.

A hard-fought battle

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The Republican primary for the Texas Supreme Court Justice has garnered significant attention due to a hard-fought battle between incumbent Justice John Devine and Fort Worth appellate judge Brian Walker. The election, marked by controversy and intense campaigning, has offered a glimpse into the intricate dynamics of the judicial race.

Conservative Christian

via Texas Counties

Devine emerged from Texas’ conservative Christian anti-abortion movement in the 1980s, getting arrested over 30 times for protests. As a judge since the 1990s, he has faced numerous ethics complaints.

His dissenting opinions

via Texas Counties

Elected to the state Supreme Court in 2012, Devine is seen as defender of religious freedom by conservatives but criticized for allowing his faith to influence rulings. His dissenting opinions on same-sex marriage rights were praised by other Republicans.

Colleagues and officials

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Walker argued Devine’s campaign speeches attacking colleagues and officials undermine judicial impartiality.

Sacrifice the Republic

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Devine said, “At times I feel like they would sacrifice the Republic for the sake of the process.” He continued, “My concern is that they all bow down to the altar of process rather than to fidelity to the Constitution. And when I say that, it’s not meant to be malice towards my colleagues. I think it’s how they were trained — how they were brainwashed.”

Constitutional issues

via Texas Counties

“We are talking about great constitutional issues here that will determine whether we survive as a representative republic or not. Are we going to just have it stolen from us? Over process for crying out loud?” exclaimed the judge.

Ethical rules

via Texas Counties

Walker said, “We have a judge who just continues to violate ethical rules and the code of judicial conduct that’s written by the Texas Supreme Court itself. And if the people can’t trust that judges are going to follow even their own rules, then they’ll have very little confidence that the rule of law truly will prevail.”

Culture war

via Supreme Court of Texas

Their primary will test voter demand for culture war issues to influence the judiciary. Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values said, “He’s very principled and passionate about his role, and about standing firm and exercising that role even if someone has a different opinion or they’re trying to put some political pressure on him. To me, it’s a reflection of what the people of Texas want and expect,” explained Saenz.

A narrow win

via Supreme Court of Texas

Narrow Victory: In a closely contested primary, Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine managed to secure a narrow win over his challenger, appellate judge Brian Walker, by a margin of less than 1 percentage point.

Repeated absences

via Supreme Court of Texas

Ethical Concerns: The campaign was characterized by allegations and criticisms regarding Justice Devine’s judicial conduct and repeated absences from the court. Walker capitalized on these concerns, emphasizing Devine’s missed court hearings and his prior involvement in anti-abortion activism, casting a cloud over the incumbent’s campaign.

Significant support

via Supreme Court of Texas

Late Surge and Voter Impact: Walker’s strategy of targeting Election Day voters seemed to gain traction, with significant support in major counties such as Dallas and Bexar. However, Devine’s strong backing in Harris County, where he secured 65% of the vote, ultimately neutralized Walker’s advantage in other counties, leading to Devine’s overall victory.

Fiercely contested

via Supreme Court of Texas

General Election Contest: Devine’s victory in the primary sets the stage for a fiercely contested general election. He is projected to face Democratic Judge Christine Vinh Weems in November, highlighting the ongoing battle for the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court.

Shaping the discourse

via Supreme Court of Texas

Ethical Scrutiny and Public Opinion: The primary election has brought to the forefront issues of judicial ethics, absenteeism, and the public’s confidence in the judiciary. These factors are likely to continue to feature prominently in the lead-up to the general election, shaping the discourse and dynamics of the judicial race.

Voter engagement

via Supreme Court of Texas

Strategic Shifts and Voter Engagement: The closely fought primary and the impending general election have prompted strategic shifts and increased voter engagement, underscoring the significance of the Texas Supreme Court race in the broader political landscape.

Trash talk

via Supreme Court of Texas

Sanford Levinson, a longtime legal scholar at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law said, “Judges usually didn’t speak that way. And I don’t think that trash talk is a particularly healthy phenomenon.”

Part of our job

via YouTube

Devine previously said, “The fact is we’re elected and part of our job is to run for reelection. It doesn’t do you any good if you don’t get reelected.”

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