SA MONTHLY MAGAZINE
Knowing she is an extremely busy lady, I allotted myself about an hour to get the essential information so as not to keep her.
Texas’ Fourth Court of Appeals: One doesn’t hear the gavel slam and “Guilty!” or “Not Guilty!” shouted across this courtroom often. It isn’t that kind of court. No one expects to be before the judicial system having a decision imposed upon them, and as a law-abiding citizen you might believe this could never happen to you. Think again. In a 2016 report taken from the Texas Judicial Records, there were over 4 million civil and criminal cases heard or waiting to be heard in this state. If these statistics are correct, Texans have about a 14% chance in a given year of being involved in some type of lawsuit. The 2017 numbers may be higher. Some cases, civil and criminal, will move on to a higher, intermediate Court of Appeals, one of 14 such courts in Texas. The decision made by a panel of three justices here, is often the final one. Very few cases are selected to go all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. We should all be concerned about who sits in these judicial positions since they could one day determine your future or the future of a loved one. Texas’ Fourth Court of Appeals serves Bexar County and 31 other surrounding counties within the Hill Country and South Texas along the border. It is comprised of 7 sitting judges, appropriately called, Justices. It is the largest appellate judicial district in Texas with each Justice serving a term of 6 years. The Fourth Court in fact, is the only all-female appellate court in the country. Citizens have a choice in who reviews their appeals, but only if they vote! On November 6, Texans will get that chance again, so knowing something about these candidates is essential. Vying for her second term is Democrat Justice Rebeca Martinez. You may have seen her,
a pretty Latina face peeping through the other election signs emblazoned with the names of Cruz, O’Rourke, Abbott or Valdez. Congressional (legislative) and gubernatorial (executive) positions get the lion’s share of attention in a mid-term election year. If Texans actually do vote in these elections, it is usually just for these seats at the top of the ticket. As for the other down-ballot positions of the judiciary, they might as well be written in Swahili. Truth be told, most voters won’t even recognize the names of many candidates. Voting habits on these positions seems to go like the following: Women tend to vote for other women in an effort to ensure females are well represented, staunchly partisan voters usually vote (and this is the last year they can do this) straight-tickwhile the “good old boys” may look for names they can pronounce. Others may gravitate toward familiar surnames, while some won’t bother voting for any positions down-ballot of Senator, or even Governor. If you are reading and perhaps laughing, then you may be seeing yourself as one of the guilty. You are guilty for not being an informed voter when it comes to learning about each of these candidates’ relevant experience and qualifications, though it is so important. With that in mind, let us take a closer look at the Democratic incumbent, Justice Rebeca Martinez and her Republican opponent. Justice Rebeca Martinez is the second of five children born into a military family. Her father is a Vietnam veteran and retired from the U.S Navy. Education was important to her parents, immigrants themselves who raised five children, each obtaining a college education with one even from Yale University. Justice Martinez earned degrees from some of the most selective universities in the country, Southern Methodist University and Boston University School of Law, (ranked #12 in the country at the time of her admission in 1989) currently
San Antonio's #1 Contemporary Magazine is ‘already delivered’ to a PC, Laptop, Cell phone or Tablet near You!