Harris County District Judge Katherine Cabaniss’s email pleading for votes in the popularity contest that is the Houston Bar Association’s Judicial Preference Poll (via Robb Fickman, who I hope will have something to say about it when he’s out of trial) is right across the SWRVs’ ((Scared White Republican Voters’.)) home plate:
Dear Fellow HBA Member,
The Houston Bar Association’s Judicial Preference Poll will be released on Monday, September 8. I am asking for your vote.
In the HBA poll released earlier this year, I was voted either “Well Qualified” or “Qualified” by almost 87% of respondents.
I was a prosecutor for more than 11 years in Houston. I also served as Crime Stopper’s Executive Director for 6 years. Since being appointed by Governor Perry in 2013, I have worked to see that justice is done in every single case, every single day, in my courtroom.
It is the election season, and I need your help to keep Harris County safe.
Please take a moment to complete the HBA poll before the deadline, September 29. I would be honored to receive your vote. Additionally, please let a friend know about the poll, and ask them to vote as well.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Judge, 248th Criminal District Court
pd pol ad • Katherine Cabaniss Campaign
A judge’s job is not to “keep Harris County safe.” The safer we are, the less free we are, and vice versa. The prosecution’s job is to keep us safe, the defense’s job is to keep us free, and the judge’s job is to call the balls and strikes. A felony judge promising to “keep Harris County safe” is dangerously close to violating Canon 5(1) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct:
A judge or judicial candidate shall not make pledges or promises of conduct in office regarding pending or impending cases, specific classes of cases, specific classes of litigants, or specific propositions of law that would suggest to a reasonable person that the judge is predisposed to a probable decision in cases within the scope of the pledge….
A judge’s job is to protect everyone from the fears and prejudices of the majority. Unfortunately, judicial elections buy us judges who pander to those fears and prejudices. And as long as more Republicans vote than Democrats, the SWRVs—right-wing authoritarians to a man—will dominate and those fears and prejudices will be those of the meanest and most frightened among us.
(This should not be read as an endorsement of Cabaniss’s opponent, for it is certainly not.)