Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Yanez Or Criss For Texas Supreme Court?—Make Your Own Call


(The painting is The Triumph of Justice by Hans Von Aachen. It is from 1598.)  

Update—Linda Yanez won this primary race and is the Democratic nominee for Supreme Court position #8. Please vote for Ms. Yanez and the slate of Democratic nominees for the Texas Supreme Court. At current the entire court is Republican. Even if you are a more moderate voter than myself, do you imagine that such a super majority is good for the average Texan? Thank you.

I think it has been 18 years since I voted for a winning candidate for state office. That would be whatever group of hacks I voted for in Ohio in 1990. Beginning with the Republican takeover in 1994 —Thanks Bill and Hillary!—I’ve been on a long losing streak in Ohio and in Texas. I moved to Texas in 1998.

It is a novel experience to have contested state and county Democratic primaries. 

A notable contested race in Texas is between Susan Criss and Linda Yanez for Texas Supreme Court position # 8. 

It’s important to elect at least one dissenting voice to combat the far right-wing super-majority that sits currently on the court.         

Susan Criss is from Galveston County where she serves on 212th District Court. She was elected in 1998.

Linda Yanez is a judge at the Thirteenth Court of Appeals which sits in Corpus Christi. She was appointed by Governor Ann Richards in 1993.

In the end, like the Texas AFL-CIO, I have to go with a dual endorsement.

Ms. Yanez had trouble securing ballot access for this election. This bothers me very much. Ballot access is a matter of bottom line competence.       

Judge Criss ordered that jurors in a settled court case not talk to the press. This unfair ruling was overturned.

Both judges have strengths and weaknesses. Both would be a big improvement over the incumbent.   

Here is the home page for Judge Criss. 

Here is the home page for Judge Yanez.

I will note that former Texas Attorney General candidate David Van Os, a true progressive, has endorsed Judge Criss.

I started this post with a measure of enthusiasm that did not hold up as I dug deeper. Maybe it is was the two candidates to a degree. Maybe it was my own unrealistic expectations.

Maybe it’s that judicial races are so remote from the public, that what you get are candidates funded by narrow interests to such an extent that you feel what is taking place is not fully real.       

Yet, of course, the Texas Supreme Court does matter. Whoever wins this race will have my support in November.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on the Texas Primary.

February 21, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, Galveston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Thanks for highlighting this important race.

    Just for clarification, Justice Linda Yanez did not have any more or less trouble securing ballot access for this election than any of our other candidates.

    If you compare Justice Yanez’s ballot signatures, Judge Jim Jordan’s ballot signatures, Sam Houston’s ballot signatures, Baltasar Cruz’s ballot, etc., you will see that they were all similar. The Democratic Party expressly approved all of the candidates’ petitions (that’s when most candidates stop gathering signatures — when the Party says “enough!”).

    The only difference among those different ballot petitions is that Susan Criss filed a complaint about Linda Yanez’s petition. That was Susan’s right to do so, but she could have raised the same concern about any of the other candidates’ petitions.

    In response to Susan’s complaint, Justice Yanez promptly added additional signatures to ensure that even if some of the signatures were not perfect (which is the case with all candidates’ petitions), there would be more than enough extra signatures to more than make up for the . There was never any trouble securing ballot access. It was just a situation where there was a complaint filed, which is unusual on the Democratic side but common among Republican primary fights, and it was promptly addressed.

    Comment by Progressive Democrat | February 21, 2008

  2. It was not a large number of signatures needed. I’ve run for office–Cincinnati Board of Education in 1997—and I got the signatures I needed many days in advance and with more than enough to deal with any possible issue. Ballot access is the bottom line and I have questions about anybody who submits signatures without having every base covered.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 21, 2008

  3. A fine and fair analysis of both candidates. Your readers benefit from your clear-eyed assessment. Though I am closely associated with Judge Criss and favor her to be the nominee, like you I will support the candidate whom the voters select on March 4.

    Comment by PDiddie | February 21, 2008

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