January 30, 2014
Editorial: We recommend Hecht in GOP primary for Texas Supreme Court chief justice
We recommend incumbent Nathan Hecht over challenger Robert Talton in the GOP primary for Texas Supreme Court chief justice.
Not only has Hecht shown intellectual clarity in legal opinions, he also has been a leader in improving court administration and in obtaining adequate funding for lawyers to represent indigent Texans. A conservative jurist, Hecht has served on the court since the late 1980s — the longest-serving member in the court’s history — and was appointed chief justice last year after the retirement of Wallace Jefferson.
The one blemish on his record: Hecht, 64, incurred a fine related to a discounted legal bill from his successful fight against ethics charges several years ago. He continues to appeal that fine. After nearly five years in the legal system, this issue needs to be resolved.
Talton, a 68-year-old former state legislator, fell way short in his efforts to make a case for change. He has earned a reputation for being ideologically rigid and combative, and he failed in his interview to offer specifics to back up his many assertions. For example, he says the Texas Supreme Court overturns an excessively large percentage of jury decisions but declined to provide details.
The winner of this primary will face Democratic opposition in November.
This is one in a series of 50 Dallas Morning News candidate recommendations in the upcoming primary elections.
Voter Guide: Compare candidates’ answers to questionnaires tailored to their race. Dallasnews.com/voterguide
Last day to register to vote: Feb. 3 (more at votetexas.gov)
Early voting starts: Feb. 18
Early voting ends: Feb. 28
Election Day: March 4
For more information:
Texas Democratic Party and candidates: txdemocrats.org
Texas Republican Party and candidates: texasgop.org
Collin County elections: 1-800-687-8546 or co.collin.tx.us/elections
Dallas County elections: 214-819-6300 or dallascountyvotes.org
Denton County elections: 940-349-3200 or votedenton.com
Tarrant County elections: 817-831-8683 or tarrantcounty.com/eVote
For more help, including how to check your registration status, contact the Texas secretary of state at 1-800-252-8683 or visit votetexas.gov.