What state propositions 4 and 5 mean for district, statewide judges and judicial candidates

Early voting starts Monday, Election Day is Nov. 2

SAN ANTONIO – Two state propositions on the Nov. 2 ballot would directly impact statewide judges and judicial candidates.

Propositions 4 and 5 would amend state judiciary rules in the Texas Constitution.

Proposition 4

This proposition would change the requirements to be a judge in Texas.

If passed, it would double the mandatory years of experience from the current four to a minimum of eight years to be a district judge. And five to ten years for judges who sit on the Texas Supreme Court and the criminal court of appeals of Texas.

“There’s some concerns that five years of practicing is not enough to have the necessary judicial temperament to take over some very important cases,” 186th district judge Jefferson Moore said.

Other requirements include having to be a Texas resident and an attorney with a license to practice law in Texas.

If the measure does pass, the new rules would apply to appointed or elected officials who assume their role after Jan. 1, 2025.

Proposition 5

This proposition applies to judicial candidates and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

If passed, it would give the commission oversight of candidates running for judicial seats and the authority to discipline candidates the same as those already elected to the bench.

“Right now as a judge or candidate, when you’re campaigning there’s not very much you can have an opinion on,” 226th district court judge Velia Meza said. “That’s for good reason because judges are supposed to be independent.”


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.