NewsTexas Law Threatens Black Female Judges Running For Office

Texas Law Threatens Black Female Judges Running For Office

The bill has led to an influx of obstacles for Black female candidates.

A new state law in Texas is now being used to question whether Black female judges running for office are qualified.

According to KSAT, the Texas law is designed to increase judicial training and transparency as well as requirements when pursuing judicial office. However, despite its neutral language, the bill has since been wielded by some white male judges who doubt the eligibility of some of their counterparts. The Houston Chronicle reports that such measures are an attempt to make up-and-coming candidates rake in legal bills so that their campaign is over before it even starts. 

Federal Judge Erica Hughes and Amber Boyd-Cora are two Black women currently vying for judicial office. Hughes is challenging incumbent Mike Englehardt for a position in the 151st District Court while Boyd-Cera is running to replace Peter Kelly in the 1st District Court of Appeals. Both women have been targeted by this law, facing new challenges to their credibility. They were even at the center of a lawsuit alleging several wrongdoings such as failure to disclose certain information, lack of qualification, and more accusations. It was ultimately dismissed in the Texas Supreme Court.

On Feb. 15, the two women joined other community leaders at the Houston NAACP to respond to the tactics, which many attendees believe are racially-motivated, according to Fox 26 Houston. “Attorney Lillian Alexander has been challenged on the ballot twice, TaKasha Francis as well,” said Hughes. “Amber Boyd-Cora was challenged all the way to the Supreme Court. I was challenged all the way to the Supreme Court.” 

In total, 13 judicial candidates attended the session to express their grievances. “We’re talking about Black women who have been practicing for more than a decade and the question continues to be raised about whether or not we’re qualified, and I don’t see similar questions for non-Black women,” said Brandi J. Croffie, who is running for office as a 133rd District Court Judge.

Rep. Jolanda Jones, D-Houston, spoke to The Houston Chronicle about the challenges.

“I would have never voted for a law that would be weaponized against Black women,” she said. “These women are not the only people running against incumbents, but also we know based on the last elections that when Black women run against white men in Harris County, they’ve won.”

Speaking to Fox 26 Houston, she added, “It’s offensive to me. So Democratic Party, I’m challenging you to stop just asking people to vote for you and support Black women. I think it’s really interesting that they’re not going after other people as Democrats.”

RELATED CONTENT: Biden Names 2 Black Female Judges In 41st Round Of Judicial Nominees

Source: Black Enterprise

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