Hinojosa Files Proposed Constitutional Amendment Addressing District Court Bench Qualifications

Hinojosa Files Proposed Constitutional Amendment Addressing District Court Bench Qualifications

Texas Senator Juan "Chuy" HinojosaSenator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) has filed a proposed constitutional amendment to address Texas’ low standard for qualifying an attorney to serve on the district court bench. SJR 25 would amend §7, Article V, Texas Constitution to increase the current four-year practice or lower court judicial service requirement for district court judges to ten years. In past sessions, TCJL has strongly supported efforts to enhance judicial qualifications. Our concern has only heightened since the November election, which resulted in a wholesale turnover in the Dallas, Houston, and Austin Courts of Appeals and the removal of 255 years of combined judicial experience from the appellate courts.

Although Senator Hinojosa’s proposal does not address the appellate courts at this time, it represents an important first step in addressing a growing problem in the judicial system. TCJL looks forward to working with Senator Hinojosa and members of the Senate and House to improve the quality and independence of the judiciary.

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