Democratic Candidates for Texas State Supreme Court Preparing To File?

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With filing less than a week away — the deadline is Monday, December 9 — there are still many statewide races that lack Democratic candidates.

However, reports are filtering out that our party will indeed be fielding several statewide judicial candidates, who are in the process of gathering the signatures required to run.

Running for statewide judicial office presents a special organizational challenge in Texas: candidates must collect 50 signatures each from all 14 state appellate court districts.

The purported candidates I am hearing about — and nope, I don't know their names but my understanding is that should they file, they will add even more regional diversity to our already strong ticket — will also help Democrats field what may be our most robust statewide ticket since 2002. Whoever runs will be challenging an incumbent Republican.

Below the jump, read about why these races matter — especially to all women working in Texas.Remember that the Texas Supreme Court decided that the Federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act does not apply to sex-based wage discrimination cases

Texas Employment Law Blog wrote in 2012:

Because the Texas Supreme Court declined to incorporate the federal law into the TCHRA, it is now up to the Texas Legislature to pass a version of the Act. Until that happens (if ever), those wishing to file a charge of discrimination under the TCHRA alleging unequal pay must act quickly and file a charge within 180 days of learning of the alleged discriminatory pay decision.  This is, of course, rarely possible because employees are unlikely to learn that they are being paid less than men in the same position so quickly.  The Court acknowledged this fact.  It also acknowledged and claims to affirm the long-standing principle that Texas courts should look to federal law for guidance in interpreting the TCHRA.  Unfortunately, the Court then failed to do so in this case, holding that this principle only holds true when state law is “analogous” to federal law.  

Of course, we all know the rest by now: Senator Wendy Davis and Representative Senfronia Thompson got the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed through the Legislature, only to see Governor Rick Perry veto it.

Looks like we need a few more statewide judges who respect the rights of women to be paid the same as men for a fair day's work. I hope the Democrats who are preparing to run are ready to campaign hard — we sure need more actual justice from the Supreme Court of Texas.

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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