WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2015: According to Alliance for Justice (“AFJ”) Texas’s U.S. Senators are starting to pay attention to the crisis in the state’s federal courts. Just yesterday they issued a statement seeking applicants to replace Judge Leonard Davis, who announced his departure over a year ago.
“We’re pleased with this development,” said Nan Aron, President of AFJ. “However, Senator Cornyn and Cruz’s release failed to address another impending vacancy in the Eastern District.” Judge Michael Schneider just announced he will leave active duty and take senior status in January 2016.
In an op-ed column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, AFJ pointed out that Texas in the epicenter in the nation’s judicial vacancy crisis. There are a total of seven district court and two circuit court of appeals vacancies in Texas. When Judge Schneider’s vacancy takes place in January there will be eight. Three of the judgeships have been vacant for more than two years. Seven have been declared judicial emergencies, meaning the remaining judges can’t handle the caseload.
“Sen. Cornyn’s response to the op-ed, contained in a letter to the Star-Telegram falls short,” Aron said. “It’s time for the Texas Senators to step up more aggressively and suggest candidates for all of the vacancies.”
Alliance for Justice, www.afj.org believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.