After the 2014 Republican primary election, conservatives lost control of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA).
Therefore, it is important that Republican primary voters elect a proven conservative in the current race for CCA Place 5.
At this time, the CCA consists of four Republican conservatives, four Republican moderates, and one turncoat Democrat.
The current CCA judges are:
1. Presiding Judge Sharon Keller (Place 1): Conservative first elected to CCA in 1994. Her current term extends through 2018.
2. Judge Lawrence "Larry" Meyers (Place 2): Moderate first elected in 1992. Elected four times as a Republican, he switched parties in 2013. He is seeking re-election this year as a Democrat.
3. Judge Bert Richardson (Place 3): Moderate elected in 2014.
4. Judge Kevin Yeary (Place 4): Conservative elected in 2014.
5. Judge Cheryl Johnson (Place 5): Moderate first elected in 1998. She is not running for re-election. Therefore, Place 5 is an open seat.
6. Judge Michael Keasler (Place 6): Conservative first elected in 1998. He is running for re-election this year.
7. Judge Barbara Hervey (Place 7): Conservative first elected in 2000. Her current term extends through 2018.
8. Judge Elsa Alcala (Place 8): Moderate appointed in 2011 and subsequently elected in 2012. Her term extends through 2018.
9. Judge David Newell (Place 9): Moderate elected in 2014.
The following cases reflect the current makeup of the CCA:
• Texas v. Villarreal, PD-0306-14 (CCA 2015);
• Texas v. Rendon, PD-0013-15, PD-0015-15 (CCA 2015);
• Ex parte Simmons, WR-16,370-02 (CCA 2015).
Each of the foregoing cases was recently decided by a 5-4 vote, with the four Republican moderates and the Democrat in the majority and the four Republican conservatives in the minority.
For example, in Texas v. Villarreal, Judges Richardson and Newell voted with the moderate majority while Judge Yeary dissented ("For this combination of reasons, I would hold that, to the extent that Section 724.012(b)(3)(B) of the Texas Transportation Code requires a peace officer to draw blood samples from incorrigible DWI suspects, regardless of whether the peace officer first seeks a search warrant, it operates in a constitutionally acceptable manner.").