Judging our judges

State Commission on Judicial ConductThe Dallas Morning News has an interesting story on the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The thirteen-member Commission is composed of 6 judges (including one from each of the following court levels: appellate, district, county court at law, constitutional county, justice of the peace, and municipal) appointed by the Texas Supreme Court of Texas, 2 attorneys appointed by the State Bar of Texas, and 5 citizens appointed by the Governor. They are charged with investigating and punishing the sins of the Texas bench, both big and small. With a budget of about $800,000 the agency must have been stretched thin investigating 1,204 complaints last fiscal year.

The Commission play an especially important role in a system of elected judges when the public has little time or inclination to examine what their judges are up to. We need someone keeping judges on their toes because there is so little competition in party primaries and so many Texans voting blindly along party lines.

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