Republicans Set to Overturn Texas Judge Seat

( – People in the wide-open rural stretches and small towns of West Texas, especially near the border with Mexico, have become more conservative over the last decade. Perhaps nothing provides a better example than the fact that not a single Democrat filed to run to replace Judge Roy B. Ferguson, a Democrat who successfully held the seat for nearly a dozen years. Come November, Republicans will flip the seat for the first time in over a decade.

On December 11, in a tweet on X, formerly Twitter, Ferguson called serving on the bench in 394th District Court in a small town in West Texas “the greatest honor of [his] career… so far!” He had waited until nearly 10 p.m. to post, noting that the deadline for filing for the next election had closed at 6 p.m. that evening and explaining, “I chose not to run for a fourth term in that position.”

Two Republican candidates will vie for the nomination in the primary. US Attorney Monty Kimball and State Prosecutor Bill Parham will run for the position in the primary. The winner will run unopposed in the November election.

Many pundits credit the shift toward conservative Republican candidates to the influx of migrants at the border. In particular, the 394th Texas District covers about 20% of the US border with Mexico. In light of the recently passed Texas Senate Bill (SB) 4 in December 2023, which will take effect in March, outlawing illegal entry into or presence in the state, making the offense a state rather than federal offense, the judicial position in Alpine, Texas, could become pivotal.

Still, Texas might have a fight on its hands. The US Justice Department (DOJ) filed suit in US District Court in the Western District of Texas in Austin on Wednesday, January 3, declaring the law unconstitutional and seeking to prevent its implementation. The new law would require state judges to order migrants to return to Mexico if courts convict them of illegal entry or presence in the state. Alternatively, a judge could drop all charges if a migrant agrees to return to Mexico.

Convictions on first offenses would qualify as misdemeanors with penalties of up to 6 months in prison. Prosecutors could try repeat offenses as felonies with penalties ranging from two to 20 years in prison.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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