Texas Chief Justice Calls for Nonpartisan Elections, Higher Pay for Judges During Legislative Speech

AUSTIN — The chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court called on lawmakers to increase judicial pay, overhaul pretrial detention and do away with the state's system of electing judges by political party during his regular speech to the Legislature on Wednesday."No method of judicial selection is perfect," Chief Justice Nathan Hecht told those gathered for his State of the Judiciary address. "Still, partisan election is among the very worst methods."Hundreds of incumbent judges were voted out of office during the November 2018 elections, Hecht complained, bemoaning that the judiciary "lost seven centuries of judicial experience at a single stroke." Altogether, 443 new judges were elected. While Hecht said he was not questioning their ability, he expressed concerned that uninformed voters oust good judges because they "happen to be on the wrong side of races higher on the ballot."  Continue reading...

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