AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott has quietly been stocking Texas courts with Republican judges freshly rejected by voters, employing one of the strongest powers of his office to stem the erosion of the GOP's decades-long dominance in the state.
In the three months since the worst election night for Texas Republicans in a generation, four of Abbott's last six judicial appointments to fill court vacancies have been former Republican judges who lost their 2018 races. One was elevated to the Texas Supreme Court just weeks after being voted out of a lower court in Houston.
Democrats have complained the governor is thumbing his nose at voters. Abbott's office has called the election results "immaterial" and that judges are nominated on the merits of their judicial record.