Texas House Democrats continue to receive key committee chairmanships from Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan, and State Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso is his latest appointment.

Phelan appointed Moody to chair the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which is tasked with overseeing all matters pertaining to “criminal law, prohibitions, standards, and penalties; probation and parole; criminal procedure in the courts of Texas; revision or amendment of the Penal Code; and the following state agencies: the Office of State Prosecuting Attorney and the Texas State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision.”

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi is already raising concerns over Moody’s legislative record on the subject of criminal justice.

Moody has a history of promoting “red-flag” gun confiscation proposals, and he’s filed legislation this session to create a registry of certain gun sales. He also wants to abolish the death penalty.

Additionally, when the Texas Legislature passed legislation that bans sanctuary cities for illegal aliens and requires cities to adhere to federal law in 2017, Moody hung a banner in his office accusing Republicans of racism.

Despite being a liberal Democrat, Moody’s ties to Republican leadership in the Texas House go deep.

In 2019, Speaker Dennis Bonnen appointed him to serve as the speaker pro tempore, effectively his “No. 2” assistant in the House. When Dade Phelan became House speaker in 2021, he kept Moody in the position. Later, when Moody joined other Democrats in fleeing to Washington, D.C., in an attempt to thwart the passage of election integrity legislation during a special session, Phelan was pressured into removing him from his post.

Clearly, however, that stunt did not prevent Phelan from appointing him to another position of leadership in the Texas House.

Texans concerned about Moody’s appointment can find contact information for their state lawmakers and House Speaker Phelan in Texas Scorecard’s Elected Officials Directory.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.