Tag Archives: Texas Courts of Appeals

Texas Elects a Lot of Democratic Judges

One important election result that likely passed under the nose of most observers was the drastic transformation of the Texas Courts of Appeals on Tuesday.   There are fourteen Courts of Appeals in Texas varying in size from 3 to 9 judges (technically called justices) with a total of 80 appellate justices statewide.  Before Tuesday night these courts were dominated by Republicans with only a handful of Democratic judges on the El Paso and Corpus Christi courts.  The Democrats swept through the Dallas (5th) , Austin (3rd) , San Antonio (4th) and both Houston (1st and 14th) courts on Tuesday.   Those five courts and the El Paso and Corpus Christi courts will now have Democratic majorities.  The only court of appeals based in a major urban county that remains in Republican control is the Fort Worth (2d) court.  Even that may change in another couple of years.  The remaining courts under Republican control (Amarillo, Beaumont, Eastland, Texarkana, Tyler and Waco) cover the more rural areas of the state and typically do not get as many high profile cases.  This is a major shift as the now Democratic controlled courts of appeals are the end of the line for a large number of the most hotly contested cases in Texas.  Very few cases reach the still Republican dominated Texas Supreme Court.

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