Let’s talk about the Green vs. Green Texas Supreme Court race.
Supreme Court Place 5 incumbent Paul Green is being challenged by conservative activist Rick Green in the Republican primary. And a few notable figures (such as Chuck Norris) have endorsed Rick Green.
Usually when a Republican incumbent is being challenged by a conservative activist, I’m backing the insurgent. This is not one of those cases.
Here’s a National Review piece covering why Rick Green is unsuited for the Texas Supreme Court:
Rick Green, age 44, has a law degree but does not primarily practice law. He is a speaker (with David Barton’s WallBuilders), radio talk-show host, family-based reality TV performer (Red, White, Blue & Green – imagine Sarah Palin meets Duck Dynasty), former state legislator (he served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives, 1999–2003), and founder of the Patriot Academy, a religious-oriented youth organization. Rick Green’s website offers services ranging from constitution training (Constitution Alive!) to firearms instruction. However beloved Rick Green may be in the world of conservative political activists (akin to Alan Keyes, Chuck Norris, or Ted Nugent), and no matter how admirable his work, he is simply not qualified to serve on the Texas Supreme Court.
Rick Green has no prior judicial experience, and scant relevant legal experience. He styles himself a “constitutionalist,” but the bulk of the Texas Supreme Court’s docket concerns mundane — albeit important — matters of state law. His judicial temperament is questionable. According to press reports (e.g., here and here), his brief tenure in Texas’s part-time legislature (which meets for 140 days every other year) was marred by ethical controversies involving his promotion of the dietary supplements Metabolife and FocusFactor. After he left the legislature, he reportedly decked the opponent who defeated him, Patrick Rose. Rick Green ran for an open seat on the Texas Supreme Court in 2010 and narrowly lost to Debra Lehrmann in the Republican primary runoff. Afterwards, in Trump-like fashion, he sued his critics, including former Chief Justice Tom Phillips, contending that their campaign against him was libelous.
Call me a philistine, but I’m not wild about a Supreme Court justice punching out political opponents and filing libel lawsuits against critics. Doesn’t exactly befit the dignity of the office.
(For those interested in the libel case, this brief goes over Rick Green’s alleged shady behavior, and evidently Rick Green dropped his lawsuit after it was filed.)
The entirety of Rick Green’s attack on Paul Green seems to be the latter’s ruling in State vs Naylor: “The main issue in the race is the State vs Naylor case of two women who married in Massachusetts and decided to not be married in Texas. Eight of the nine justices participated with three dissents. Paul Green joined in the majority opinion. The majority opinion dismissing the lawsuit was based on lack of jurisdiction, a procedural matter, that had nothing to do with the central question of the constitutionally of the Texas Marriage Laws. The decision shows that the court exercised judicial restraint and did not engage in judicial activism.”
Here’s a comparison chart between the two Greens.
And just in case you’re worried that incumbent Paul Green is too moderate, the fact that he garnered endorsements from Texans for Lawsuit Reform should ease your concern. And former Governor Rick Perry endorsed Paul Green as well: “Paul Green is the type of constitutionalist that I want to see on our courts. Paul has the intellectual capability and the scholarly capability to serve the people of Texas.”
All of which should help convince you to support Paul Green over Rick Green. Sorry, Chuck Norris…