This court’s job is to defend the rule of law, a bedrock to our country’s success and survival.

This court’s job is to defend the rule of law, a bedrock to our country’s success and survival. It must decide the cases appealed to it and it must explain its reasoning in a public opinion. Its opinions are binding on all of the trial courts in this appellate court’s jurisdiction and have a state wide impact. Those opinions must be clear, concise, and consistent so people can make informed decisions about how to run their businesses, plan their lives, and protect their property.

As an example of this court’s importance, when a statute becomes law, 181 legislators have played a role in making that statute the state’s public policy. Likewise, the governor has added his or her signature. That is 182 elected public officials have made the state’s public policy.

The Largest Court of Appeals in Texas

That statute can come before the court of appeals to decide whether that statute is valid, what does it mean, and how does it apply. There will be three justices hearing the case. Very few people will know those justices and even fewer will have paid attention to the election process. Yet, depending on how they decide a case, those three people in effect have the power to remove that statute from the books or to interpret it in a way that that the public or the legislature never intended. It is thus very important to know who those justices are, to know that they have the correct understanding of the court’s limited constitutional role and that they have the judgment, common sense, experience, integrity, analytical skill, academic excellence, and decide the case correctly.

Located in Dallas, the Fifth Court of Appeals is the largest court of appeals in Texas, and is the intermediate appellate court serving Collin, Dallas, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. As such, its opinions have an impact statewide.

This court with a chief justice, twelve justices, thirty-four staff attorneys, and one law clerk is much like a large law firm with a managing partner, partners, and associates working in teams to efficiently and correctly decide cases with written opinions stating the court’s rulings and explaining the court’s reasoning. This is the same type of work Bill did very successfully at a very high level for more than thirty years. Bill’s thirty year private sector law firm experience doing the same type of work the justices do, and in a similar environment, more than qualifies him for this court.

It is also important that those justices abide by their limited roles, respect the constitutional separation of powers, and exercise judicial restraint deciding only those issues necessary to decide the specific issues needed to solve the case actually before them.