Jesus Christ is real. He calls me to be in a personal relationship with him so that I might better live according to His will. He knows I am sinful and imperfect, but loves me unconditionally. He calls me to love others without judgment so that I might help them know Him better. At the darkest times in my life, He has called my name so that I would know that He is always present. He is a merciful and loving God, and I will never be worthy of His sacrifice. It is only through His grace that I am saved.
A judge should be open-minded to different possible arguments in order to avoid the dangers of confirmation bias. Additionally, a judge should aspire to humility so that he never forgets others may have a better answer, and his own ego does not get in the way when he realizes he needs to change his mind. He should be modest enough that he never seeks power, and he should exercise it with great respect when called to do so. He should be determined enough that he can firmly stand by a position he knows to be true, even in the face of overwhelming criticism. And he should be compassionate enough to remember that every case number represents a person whose life will be dramatically affected by whatever decision the judge makes.
I believe our Constitution was drafted to enshrine the rights given to us by God. Rather than task our government with deciding what rights the citizens have, our Founding Fathers recognized that the government gets its power from the consent of the governed. To that end, our Founding Fathers envisioned the judiciary as a check on possible executive and legislative overreach rather than a policy agent. That is the judicial philosophy I would take with me if I were blessed with the opportunity to serve the citizens of Texas on the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Why I Am Running
Judge Cathy Cochran has been a unique voice on the Court for many years. Her opinions are often regarded by judges and practitioners as the most practical and grounded. While I could never replace her, I believe I have been gifted with similar abilities in legal insight and writing. I would use those skills to provide needed continuity for the Court as it transitions into its next iteration. Most importantly, I believe I best represent the future of the Court. Over the last sixteen years, I have seen the Court wrestle not only with the decisions of the previous members of the Court, but also the fallout from egregious errors in prosecution that came from overly permissive rulings. As a criminal appellate attorney, I find myself in the unique position of both defending the criminal justice system and correcting errors when it breaks down. My experience makes me the best person for the job.