Articles Posted in Voting

Summary: This article gives a rundown of judicial elections in Texas: what they are, what positions are up for a vote, and why you should care about them. 

Although many states elect at least some of their judges, as of 2020 Texas is one of only six states to run partisan (party-based) elections for all state judicial positions.  If you were one of the 17 percent of Texans who voted in the March primary for the 2022 midterm elections, like me you probably encountered several pages of candidates for all sorts of judicial positions in your county and across the state.  All kinds of judges, justices—and something called a “justice of the peace”?  Some of the candidates were unopposed in their primaries and might even run unopposed in the general election, while other races had 3 or 4 candidates competing.  Perhaps the information overload of all these judicial elections is one reason for Texas’s incredibly low primary turnout. 

This article is meant to give a basic overview of some of these judicial positions, and to discuss why you should care about them.

Well folks, everything is bigger in Texas and our laws and penalties are certainly no exception. Despite the efforts of Texas Democrats to block a voting restriction bill, that bill and 665 additional bills were passed, many of which took effect on September 1, 2021. Here are some of the major new laws that took effect on Wednesday:

“Heartbeat” abortion ban.

One of the major and—undoubtedly most controversial laws—that took effect is the “heartbeat” abortion bill. While many Texans and Americans hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would weigh in on the proposed bill, the Court sat idle, allowing Texas to pass a bill that could prevent the vast majority of abortions in the state, upending nearly fifty-years of established legal precedent.  This new law prohibits abortion once a heartbeat is detected in an embryo, which could happen as early as about six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant.

It is quite clear that the election season is upon us. From television ads to unsolicited text messages, there is absolutely no way to miss the importance of this election. This election shapes our future and the future for those we love. We must uphold our civic duty and exercise our right to vote.

In my colleague’s article Vote Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, she discusses the impacts this election will have as it relates to labor and employment law. Indeed, recent events have made us all wonder what the future holds for employees’ rights. It is not only the Supreme Court that impacts these rights but all of those who are up for election.

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