The last time the Texas House of Representatives impeached a judge was 1975. O.P. Carrillo of Duval County was the respondent. Leon Jaworski prosecuted the impeachment in the Senate.

I’ve been hanging around the Texas Capitol since midday waiting for the Texas House of Representatives Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee to start hearing House Resolution 480, relating to the appointment of a committee to investigate the impeachment of Sharon Keller.

It’s 6:37pm, and the committee’s meeting just began. The committee (Todd Hunter, chairman) has four pages of bills to consider; HR 480 is on the third page.

There’s at least one person here to testify against HR 480: ex-Court of Criminal Appeals Judge (and ex-TCDLA President) Frank Maloney. There are a handful of legal luminaries here to testify in favor of HR 480: Broadus Spivey, Chuck Herring, Jim Herrington, Justice Michol O’Connor and others. And me. I’m the throwdown witness, in case everyone else has to leave before it’s time to testify.

Defending People reader Michael Simpson tracked me down here, and he’s making notes on the agenda about the current bill (HB 4251): “Hospitals fucking injured people making people sign liens or not get treatment.” I think Michael is in favor of  HB 4251.

Other bills to be considered by the committee: HB 514, relating to recovery of loss of consortium damages by a parent for injury to a child as a result of certain crimes against the child; HB 545, relating to requiring courts to report the number of frivolous lawsuits filed each year; HB 3919, relating to a qualified privilege of a journalist not to testify in an administrative, executive, legislative, or civil judicial proceeding; and HB 4549, relating to the criminal jurisdiction of the supreme court [sic] and the abolishment of the court of criminal appeals [sic].

Kevin Petroff, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office’s legislative liaison (not the Office’s highly-paid outside lobbyist) is here to register in favor of the last one. I’ll have to ask Kevin why he favors abolishing the Court of Criminal Appeals.

If HB 4549 passes, will HR 480 still be necessary?


0 responses to “Sausage”

  1. My impression from the hearing was the reps who were hesitant about scrapping the Court of CrAp weren’t against a one supreme court system, but wondered how to get there from here. What happens to the judges, their staff, and so on; does the CCA disappear one day or is it merged into SCOT, and if so who is Chief Justice (Jefferson or Keller — there’s a Hobson’s choice) Someone led with what I thought was the best argument against a criminal court of last resort — the only other state that has one is Oklahoma.

  2. […] Mark Bennett was there for the hearing, though his report is from before it started. The DMN, Statesman, and Daily Texan have more, and you can watch the archived video of the hearing if you’ve got a few hours to kill; Burnam’s stuff starts about three hours in. I’ve put a call into Rep. Burnam’s office and am awaiting a statement from them about the hearing. I’ll post it when I get it. […]

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