Texpatriate’s Questions for Nathan Hecht

Editorial note: This is the ninth in our series of electronic interviews with candidates in contested primaries at both the Statewide level and throughout Harris County. We have sent eight open-ended questions to each of the candidates. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.

Nathan Hecht, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court

Texpatriate: What is your name?
NH: Nathan Hecht

T: What office are you running for?
NH: Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court

T: What is your profession/occupation?
NH: Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court

T: In just a few words, what does the office you are running for do and what are its responsibilities?
NH: The Chief Justice presides over the Texas Supreme Court, oversees the administration of the Court as well as the Texas judiciary, and consults with the chief justices of other state supreme courts on matters of national interest.

T: If you are running against an incumbent (primary or general), do you think the incumbent has failed? If so, why specifically?
NH: (I am the incumbent.  I was first elected to the Supreme Court in 1988 and have been re-elected four times since.  Governor Perry appointed me Chief Justice last fall.  I have an established, proven record as a conservative leader and judge.)

T: What would be your three biggest priorities if elected?
NH: I will continue to try to reduce the cost and delays in the civil justice system so that the courts are more accessible to people with limited means.  I will try to improve efficiencies for courts (and taxpayers), lawyers, and parties by making it possible to file papers using the Internet.  And I will continue to lead a Court that is committed to judicial restraint, not legislating from the bench.

T: What distinguishes you from your opponent(s)? Why should people specifically vote for you?
NH: I have 25 years’ experience on the Supreme Court and am a proven, trusted leader.  When I was first elected, no Republican had been elected to the Court since Reconstruction.  The voters have repeatedly elected me based on my dependable, solid record.

T: What is the most important thing you have learned thus far in the campaign?
NH: It is always very hard for voters to know the down-ballot judicial candidates, and that is especially true this year when there is so much interest in other races.  Some candidates without judicial experience or records, supported by a handful of lawyers instead of all kinds of people across the State, may nevertheless try to persuade voters.  The Texpatriate and others do a great public service in trying to help voters know the candidates.

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