By: Noel Adams
February 11, 2016
I wish someone besides me would say these things. But no one else will. And they need to be said. So I will.
I realize my newsfeed has been rather focused this week on the race for Texas Supreme Court Judge between incumbent Paul Green and challenger Rick Green. It all started quite accidentally. A friend (in high-ish places) and I were discussing the upcoming Texas primary, and I voiced my concern over Rick Green. I was surprised to find that we shared the same concerns regarding this race. And then I got an education.
Seems there are some hijinks afoot, and homeschoolers should be made aware of it before early voting begins this coming Tuesday.
Here’s the deal. Homeschooling dad Rick Green is challenging incumbent Paul Green for his seat on the Texas Supreme Court. Why, you ask? Because–to hear the Rick Green camp tell it–Paul Green showed his support for same-sex marriage when he voted in the Naylor case to grant a divorce to a lesbian couple who married in Massachusetts and late relocated to Texas. THSC even went as far as to spin, “his opponent (Paul Green) was one of the majority of Texas Supreme Court Justices who failed to defend the Texas Constitution and traditional marriage when the court was deciding whether a lesbian couple should be allowed a divorce under Texas law.” That claim, which is made by lots of folks in the Rick Green camp, is, to put it kindly, inaccurate. For shame.
Here’s what REALLY happened. The majority opinion in the Naylor case, which Paul Green joined, said that they supported the lower court’s granting of the divorce because there was no way not to, legally speaking. Sticky situation, to be sure, as this case came before the Obergefell case, and Texas law banned same-sex marriage. After the lower court issued its judgment, the Attorney General inserted himself in the case to argue on the State’s behalf. Too late, said the Supreme Court majority, according to the laws on the books. The Attorney General asked for an exception.
Ah. Exceptions. Exceptions are things that work outside of the law. Exceptions should give you, my fellow citizens of Texas, extreme pause.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the Texas attorney writing for Breitbart.com said:
“The Supreme Court declined to overturn the lower court’s ruling but did so saying they were constrained by legal procedural rules governing the timing of the state’s intervention. The state appealed but the intermediate appellate court affirmed holding that the state’s intervention was untimely and there was no standing. The majority wrote that the question of standing to appeal is rigid and not subject to equitable arguments and the Court was without legal authority to expand the scope of its jurisdiction.”
Did you catch that? The Court restrained its own authority and jurisdiction. Facts are stubborn things. The rule of law is rigid, thank you, Lord. And justices who hold to the rule of law aren’t legislating from the bench; that’s exactly what they are NOT doing. They are protecting justice–which would be precisely what we elect them to do.
Texas attorneys have also weighed in with American Spectator and National Review, saying exactly the same things.
So that’s the story. Back to the man. Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort, and James Dobson, I hear, have endorsed Rick Green, which is cute but entirely irrelevant, as these men live in LA, SoCal, and Colorado Springs, respectively. In contrast, I have lived in Texas for twenty years and have observed more than just what came to me in a PR press release. Over these two decades, I have observed that Rick Green is rather…bombastic, to put it mildly.That might be entertaining in a radio personality and, yes, even desirable in a political activist, but a Justice should display a little more, what shall I call it, level-headedness? self-control? decorum? A Texas Supreme Court judge, in other words, should not be inclined to punching people or suing the fire out of his opponents.
For what it’s worth, I was introduced to Rick at a banquet some years ago. Certainly likeable, but he exudes more Tigger than Witherspoon. And I just don’t think that going to the same church or attending Patriot Academy or having heard him speak at your local speech club is enough reason to give him your vote. I don’t even think the fact that we’re both homeschoolers is enough reason.
The candidate for the Texas Supreme Court who gets my vote is going to be less concerned about his own reputation and more concerned about the letter of the law.
National Review said this about Paul Green: “His judicial service has been marked by integrity, decorum, and dignity. He exudes gravitas. By any estimation, he is highly qualified to serve another term on the Texas Supreme Court.”And it has this to say about Rick Green: “Rick Green is not a serious candidate, and he is not running for a serious reason. His election would likely diminish the credibility and stature of the Texas Supreme Court…a glib, attention-getting showman…Will Texas primary voters see through this unseemly stunt?”
Empower Texans has declined to give either Green an endorsement, positing that either one would be a win for Texans. That is telling in itself. If Paul Green is a win for Texans, why is Rick Green stirring the pot? If Rick Green isn’t doing this for Texans, it begs the question: Who IS Rick Green doing this for?
So here’s the great irony in this little drama. Rick Green, at bottom, wishes the Supreme Court had granted the exception. He wishes they had behaved as judicial activists. And that means, given an opportunity, Rick Green fully intends to be a judicial activist. And you are going to vote for him? Because?
It comes down to this.
You can vote for Paul Green, who refuses to be an activist judge. (That’s good.)
Or you can vote for Rick Green, who insists on being an activist judge. (That’s bad.)