Dallas, March 19, 2018 - Judge Staci Williams’ place on the November ballot is secure, according to a ruling from visiting Republican Judge Christi Kennedy from Tyler, who on Monday, March 19, 2018 ruled against claims of the local Republican Party and a local Republican attorney running for Judge Williams’ bench to toss Judge Williams from the ballot.
Judge Williams' legal team, led by Tex Quesada and Anthony Farmer, was instrumental and critical in securing this important ruling. Following a failed attempt on January 19, 2018 by the Dallas County Democratic Party to defeat an early temporary restraining order that actually tossed Judge Williams from the Democratic primary ballot, at a hearing where Judge Williams was not even present and of which she had no legal notice, Messrs. Quesada and Farmer and Chris Hamilton swooped into action with a midnight mandamus filing in the Dallas Court of Appeals to defeat the fateful ruling that the local Democratic Party inexplicably chose not to challenge in the Dallas Court of Appeals. Following that appellate court victory, former Chief Justice Phillips joined the legal team that secured the final victory following a trial before Judge Kennedy, sitting by appointment after the voluntarily recusal by local Dallas District Court Judge Bonnie Goldstein.
“The claims kept mutating throughout the lawsuit” said Mr. Quesada. “This was as a last second attempt to kick a long-time Judge off the ballot; the allegations began with a claim that every page of the 65-page application had to be notarized, then someone came up with the notion that all the pages were supposed to be numbered by whoever gathered the voters’ signatures. When neither of those assertions were supported by the Texas Election Code, the theory became that the pages had to be numbered differently just in case someone at the campaign headquarters dropped the application and couldn’t put it back in order. We wound up in a two-day trial about what would happen if someone slipped on a banana peel and dropped a stack of papers! It is no surprise, therefore, that the Court of Appeals and a visiting Judge rejected these ever-changing and speculative arguments to eliminate the voters’ choice to see Judge Williams on the ballot in November.”
By law, Judge Williams was required to submit 250 signatures from Dallas County voters as part of her re-election application. She actually submitted almost 600 signatures from voters who specifically asked to have Judge Staci Williams’ name on the ballot.
“This was a case in which the local Republican Party was asking for a judge to legislate from the bench.” Anthony Farmer, who also represented Judge Williams noted that “it speaks volumes that we had a long-time Republican former Chief Justice and two progressive Democratic lawyers united in defending Judge Williams. The voters’ rights to choose is far more important than one party’s attempt to game the system by trying to create traps in the paperwork. The voters of Dallas County deserve better than to have one emergency hearing, appellate court proceedings and then a two-day final trial before a judge who had to travel a hundred miles to hear the case. The real contest comes in November and that’s how these elections should be decided.”
Judge Staci Williams of the 101st District Court of Dallas County was represented by Anthony Farmer of the Farmer Law Group, PLLC; George (Tex) Quesada of Sommerman, McCaffity & Quesada, LLP; and former Supreme Court of Texas Chief Justice Tom Phillips of Baker Botts.