Judicial races go overlooked too often on the ballot, despite the impact our courts can have on people’s lives and the state’s economy. Three seats on Texas’ highest civil court, the Supreme Court of Texas, are up for election.

Massengale challenging Lehrmann
Incumbent Justice Debra Lehrmann faces a tough re-election match. She’s being opposed by Justice Michael Massengale from the First Court of Appeals in Houston.

While a pleasant conversationalist, Lehrmann has nonetheless produced a spotty record on the bench. Enough so that legal-issues powerhouse Texans for Lawsuit Reform was an early supporter of her opponent.

That opponent, Michael Massengale, has also earned our endorsement. He has maintained an outstanding record on the First Court of Appeals by simply honoring the rule of law and refusing to legislate from the bench.

Massengale is a proven and resolute strict-constructionist who has worked diligently to advance individual liberty, promote personal responsibility, and protect property rights. We have endorsed Massengale.

Guzman for Re-Election
Justice Eva Guzman deserves re-election to the high court. She has a strong record of standing for the rule of law while articulating a thoughtful defense of civil liberties and due process rights.

She is being challenged by perennial candidate Joe Pool Jr of central Texas. In his last go at the high court, Pool was part of a collection of “Republican” candidates aided by the Democrats. (Pool tried unsuccessfully to have his opponent, incumbent Jeff Brown, tossed off the ballot for a number of incoherent reasons. Pool’s chief claim to fame appears to be that a Metroplex lake is named for his dad.)

Guzman’s passion for the mission of the Supreme Court of Texas, and defense of liberty, is readily apparent. Guzman has served admirably on the Supreme Court, and should be kept on the bench. We have endorsed Guzman.

Green versus Green
No judicial race will be more confusing for voters than Green versus Green. That’s incumbent Paul Green being challenged by former State Rep. Rick Green.

Paul Green has served on the high court for more than a decade, and developed a strong reputation as a serious and competent jurist. Previous to the Supreme Court, Paul Green served for a decade on the Fourth Court of Appeals (San Antonio). Attorneys and other court watchers say he has a strong work ethic and reliably sides with conservatives. Like Massengale, he’s been endorsed by Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

Rick Green is the conservative warrior. After losing re-election to the Texas House and failing at a prior bid for the Supreme Court, Rick Green has built a successful nationwide program training young people in conservative values and practical political engagement. Despite having a law degree, Rick Green is not a practicing attorney and has never served on a bench. Instead, he has made a career advancing constitutional principles .

Once they get past the name game, Republican primary voters will have to choose between a conservative constitutional activist (Rick Green) and an experienced conservative jurist (Paul Green).

We have not endorsed in the race, though we will continue to cover it. Needless to say, Texans have in Green vs. Green a GOP primary a race they cannot lose.

UPDATE: After publication we were contacted by Rick Green who asked us to clarify his professional work background:

“Your statement that I am not a practicing attorney is not accurate. While I have spent little time in the courtroom, not all practicing attorneys are litigators. I’ve been a practicing attorney for 19 years. I’ve been with a large (Loeffler, Jonas, & Tuggey) firm and small (Eggleston, Flowers, & King), I’ve served as in house counsel, and I’ve done my fair share of transactional work, as well as serving as a mediator and arbitrator. I don’t talk much about any of that because those are not the things that qualify me for the court.”

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."