Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 03:13 PM CST
(This story needs some attention. - promoted by M. Eddie Rodriguez)
The Texas Code of Judicial Conduct demands that a judge or judicial candidate shall not knowingly or recklessly misrepresent the qualifications or other fact concerning the candidate:
Refraining from Inappropriate Political Activity
(1) A judge or judicial candidate shall not:
(i) make pledges or promises of conduct in office regarding pending or impending cases, specific classes of cases, specific classes of litigants, or specific propositions of law that would suggest to a reasonable person that the judge is predispoded to a probable decision in cases within the scope of the pledge;
(ii) knowingly or recklessly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position, or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent; or make a statement that would violate Canon 3B(10).
On his official campaign website (http://www.donwillet...), Republican Supreme Court Judge Don Willett misrepresents that his supporters include newspapers the Austin American-Statesman, El Paso Times, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Midland Reporter-Telegram, San Antonio Express-News, Victoria Advocate, and Waco Tribune-Herald.
|Contrary to this misrepresentation of facts concerning Willett’s candidacy and qualifications, it is Willett’s opponent, Judge Bill Moody, who has the endorsements of nearly every newspaper across Texas, particularly including
The Austin American-Statesman:
The only Supreme Court seat contested by a Democratic challenger is for Place 2, in which state District Judge Bill Moody, an El Paso Democrat, is running. We recommend that voters support him. A veteran lawyer and judge, Moody is seeking the seat held by Don Willett, 40, a Republican appointed to a court vacancy last year by Perry. Moody won't have as much campaign money to spend as Willett, but he has far more experience as a lawyer and judge in Texas courts, which would serve the Supreme Court well. The court — and the public — also would benefit by acquiring a justice who does not fit the all-Republican, mostly corporate lawyer mold of the current court.”
The El Paso Times:
William E. "Bill" Moody, veteran El Paso judge, is running for Place 2 justice on the Supreme Court. Vote for him so we can have a solidly qualified El Pasoan elected to statewide office.
The Dallas Morning News:
SUPREME COURT, PLACE 2
Unlike most of Mr. Perry's other Supreme Court appointments, Republican Don Willett had no judicial background before joining the high court just over a year ago. The 40-year-old served three years as a corporate lawyer, then worked on faith-based initiatives and domestic policies for George W. Bush as governor and president. The Duke Law graduate later had stints in the Justice Department and the Texas attorney general's office.
Sum it up, and he has but single-digit years of real legal experience – none of it judicial.
We recommended the Austin resident in the GOP primary because he was a better alternative to his opponent, but we can't reach that conclusion for the general election.
We instead recommend El Paso Judge William Moody. The 56-year-old has served 19 years on a district court. During that time, Judge Moody has tried more than 400 cases and served as a presiding judge.
Before going on the bench, the Texas Tech Law grad spent 11 years as an El Paso prosecutor. In the district attorney's office, he worked on more than 100 felony trials.
Both Democrats and Republicans in El Paso praise Democrat Moody for being hard-working, honest and well reasoned.
Even corporate lawyers there recommend him as giving all sides a chance to make their case and for "being a brain working all the time," as one told us about Judge Moody, an amateur historian who writes about the presidency.
Justice Willett may be a good man, but Judge Moody has experience – an appropriate background for the state's highest court.
The Houston Chronicle:
Texas Supreme Court, Place 2, William E. "Bill" Moody — A former prosecutor and an experienced trial judge with a focus on civil cases, Moody won the State Bar's judicial poll — significant for a Democrat running in a Republican-leaning state. Moody recently worked to persuade the Legislature to increase jury pay, causing more summoned jurors to report for duty. Moody's Republican opponent, incumbent Justice Don Willett, has little experience handling the type of cases that come before the Supreme Court and has produced little since being appointed.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram:
Justice Supreme Court, Place 2
For us, this is simply a matter of the best qualifications for the job. We think Democrat William E. "Bill'' Moody, the "Walking Judge'' from El Paso, should be elected over Republican appointee Don Willett.
Moody has served 19 years on a district court and has tried more than 400 cases. Willett had no previous experience on the bench before his appointment to this post. Moody has the experience as his resume indicates and we feel tha''s an asset that Texas should employ. Moody also has a West Texas background and he understands our kind of talk.
The San Antonio Express-News:
Five Texas Supreme Court seats are on the ballot this year, but only one member of the all-Republican court drew a Democratic challenger.
Democratic state District Judge William "Bill" Moody of El Paso is trying to unseat appointed Justice Don Willett.
Moody is the best candidate in the Place 2 race, which also features a Libertarian contender. Moody has served on El Paso's 34th District Court bench since 1986, presiding over more than 400 jury trials.
Moody, a former prosecutor, handles civil and criminal trials in his court. Moody is a respected judge. That fact and his 20 years of judicial experience make him the best choice.
Willett had no judicial experience when Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to the high court last year.
The Republican spent most of his 14-year legal career in various government and political jobs including roles in the U.S. Justice Department and as deputy assistant Texas attorney general for legal counsel.
The Victoria Advocate:
Elect Moody to Supreme Court
October 22, 2006 - Posted at 12:00 a.m.
State District Judge William "Bill" Moody of El Paso has a wide range of legal experience that well qualifies him to sit on the Texas Supreme Court and would well serve the state if voters elect him to do so.
After earning his law degree at Texas Tech University Law School, the U.S. Army veteran joined the El Paso County district attorney's office as a prosecutor, ultimately working his way up to the first assistant DA.
In 1986, Gov. Mark White named Moody to fill a District Court vacancy in El Paso County. The judge's hard work, integrity and fairness on the bench earned him the respect of the lawyers who practice before his court and re-election every time he subsequently ran.
Moody has presided over more than 400 trials, both criminal felony and civil. His experience with the latter prepared him to sit on the state's highest court of civil appeals. He also would be fully qualified to serve on a new court that someday could, and arguably should, be created by combining the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which is the state's highest appellate court for criminal cases.
The judge's service has extended beyond El Paso County, where he presided over the Council of Judges. He also presided over the Sixth Judicial Region of Texas and served on the Texas Ethics Commission. Moody worked to persuade the Texas Legislature to raise jury pay statewide, believing that would help reduce the financial hardship many Texans experience when they have to give up time at work to participate in this critically important way in the justice system.
Moody's opponent, Don Willett, has served on the Texas Supreme Court only since Gov. Rick Perry named him to fill a vacancy on it in August 2005. That is his only judicial experience. He has never presided over any kind of trial. Prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court, he was a legal and policy aide to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, at the U.S. Department of Justice and to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Moody's distinguished and lengthy experience on the bench makes him the far better qualified candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Place 2.
The Waco Tribune-Herald:
In the one Supreme Court race where the Democrats have fielded a challenger, he’s a strong one. El Paso district judge Bill Moody clearly is the best candidate for Place 2. He is making his second run for the court. Republican incumbent Don Willett was appointed to the court with no judicial experience.