As a state district judge, Fine can do whatever he wants in his court. The only people he has to answer to are those who elected him. But with such a controversial ruling, his motive is being questioned.
“The courtroom of a judge isn’t his fiefdom to decide what the law is. It’s to follow the law and one would question whether he’s following the law or legislating,” said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.
The former drug addict had this to say shortly after being swept into office by the Obama numbnuts:
Fine, a Democrat, campaigned on his life experiences, saying they would make him a better judge than his rival, Republican incumbent Devon Anderson.
“She did a good job, but I’m more qualified in the hopelessness and futility of addiction,” Fine said.
Do you want “feel good” rulings or do you want rulings that follow the law? That is the bottom line in this election. Republican judges base their rulings upon the law – Democratic judges base their rulings on how they “feel” about something.
As you probably know, I’ve spent a lot of time with the judicial candidates this year. The guy above is one of the reasons why. The courts are not some political football that we can toss about on a whim – people’s lives are directly affected from the bench. That was the reason I contacted Dean Betz of the Houston Chronicle and asked him if Judicial Q&A’s from GOP judges could be listed on the Chronicle’s Politics page side by side with Off the Kuff’s Democratic ones. It didn’t matter to me if they Q&A’s were here on BJP, on a Chron blog, or on the HCRP’s blog – I just wanted people to have an opportunity to compare the candidates. Because I know that if people do compare, they will vote for the Republican in most cases. Mr. Betz was gracious and didn’t hesitate to allow the Q&A’s to go on the Chron site direct from BJP. And Dwight Silverman put in a lot of effort to make sure that it worked from the technical side. Thank you, Mr. Betz and Mr. Silverman.
I think that the Republican judges responded very well to the Q&A’s. I wish that all of our candidates had chosen to participate but like the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. You can view the complete list of races and responses on the Judicial Q&A Comparison page. Yes, as a matter of fact, that was a lot of work; thank you for noticing. But if we can prevent what happened in 2008 from happening again, it will have been well worth it.
For a quick example of what you will find if you do compare the candidates, let’s take a look at question 5, which asks:
5. Why is this race important?
For comparison, let’s take County Criminal Court No. 4 candidates Al Leal and John Clinton. Why? First, because I liked Mr. Clinton’s answer. Second, because local defense attorney Mark Bennett has trashed Mr. Clinton and all Republicans, even referring to us as “Scared White ” Republicans.
First, Democrat Leal’s response:
This race is important because many offenders coming before a county criminal court are in the criminal justice system for the first time. A county criminal court judge has the unique opportunity to literally turn someone’s life around, particularly our youth. The decisions made on the county criminal court level can prevent individuals from becoming career criminals, financial burdens to taxpayers and a danger to our public safety.
I guess that doesn’t sound too bad, if you just look at it on the surface. But it sounds much like he wants to be a social worker. Not a bad choice in life but is that what we want behind the bench?
This race is important because I see these as gateway courts. Often, young criminals make their first stop here. We have to make a firm impression on them. We must also protect the rights of both the accused and the victims. I think that often we look beyond the victims and what they are going through when crime enters their lives. These courts play a vital role in keeping our community safe and secure.
Do you see the difference? Yes, Mr. Clinton acknowledges the criminal and the opportunity to turn his or her life around. But what does he also acknowledge? The victim. Too often, judges, in their zeal to “do good”, overlook the very real impact that crime has upon the victim. I like Mr. Clinton’s approach. I completely understand that defense attorney Bennett or one of his clients would much prefer Mr. Leal to be sitting behind the bench but what about you? You are the voter. You are the ordinary, law abiding citizen whose life can be ruined by a criminal turned loose upon society by a “do gooder judge”. What do YOU think?
I hope you will ask yourself that and vote straight R. If you happen to find one or two Democrats that you think you prefer, then you can make that adjustment as you scroll through the ballot. By voting straight R, you insure that you won’t accidentally skip a few judges because the ballot is very, very long.
It so happens that County Judge Ed Emmett agrees with me. Watch the latest Republican campaign ad:
See you at the polls!