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Judge John Devine - Why are you running against Justice David Medina? - "I can Beat Somebody with a Mexican Name"
In what can only be described as shocking, Judge John Devine (candidate for Texas Supreme Court, Place 4) told former Texas District Court Judge Scott Link he decided to run against incumbent Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina because "I can beat somebody with a Mexican name." The statement was made during a candidate screening luncheon and was witnessed by Houston attorney, Frank Harmon, who also attended the lunch.
I asked Link if he was certain as to Devine's motivation for choosing Medina to run against. Link confirmed, "Certainly. He was very clear on that. He said they're just easier to beat."
Prior to that, Devine was asked why he was running for the Supreme Court. He told Link, "I need a job." It is well known that the firm Devine works for is currently the defendant in a $30 million lawsuit and most of the attorneys in that firm are seeking employment somewhere else, many through public office.
Link told me that after this brief opening barrage from Devine, the lunch meeting was over and they had decided to rule Devine out for any possible support.
Following is my video interview with Judge Link. The transcript of the interview will follow the conclusion of the story below the video.
Devine's candor in this meeting is quite shocking. Apparently he thought it was okay that his reason for choosing to run against an incumbent Supreme Court Justice, because of his Hispanic surname, was acceptable. Apparently he thinks that the public owes him a job because the law firm he works for in in trouble.
Regardless of what he thinks, it is clear this man has no business serving in the top court in the state of Texas. Send Judge John Devine a clear message in the July 31st runoff election.
TexasGOPVote blogger Bob Price: Judge Link, thank you for joining us here today. I understand you had a conversation with Judge Devine about why he picked to run against this incumbent Republican in the Republican Primary, Justice Medina. Can you tell us what he had to say about that?
Judge Scott Link: I certainly can. Myself and one other person that is active in the Republican Party here in Harris County took John Devine to lunch, and we asked him why he was running, particularly why he was running against Justice Medina, and his response to the first question was that he was running because he needed a job; and secondly, he said, "I'm running against Justice Medina because I can beat somebody with a Mexican name." Needless to say, that was the end of the lunch, and we left feeling somewhat disenchanted with John Devine at that point.
Bob Price: His reason for picking that person was because of their Mexican surname?
Judge Link: Certainly. He was very clear on that. He said they're just easier to beat. Fortunately, we are as Republicans, as are the Democrats, courting the Mexican vote; and obviously that is a statement we don't want to hear. That runs contrary to what the Republicans have done in the last several years and that is hold themselves out as the party of inclusiveness. Certainly this doesn't bode well for that mantra.
Bob Price: Now you mentioned that he said he was running because he needed a job; that doesn't to me look like someone that is looking to be of public service. They're just looking out for their own self interests. Is that the impression you got?
Judge Link: The law firm with which he is associated, every lawyer in that law firm has run for a position this time because they're all looking for jobs. There's a $29 million lawsuit pending against the firm and one of the partners individually for notes totaling $29 million, so it's no surprise that they're running and no surprise John's running. This is his fifth attempt at seeking public office I guess in the last eight years, and he has been unsuccessful four times I guess in the last six years.
Bob Price: Well I would think as Republicans we can do better than just trying to find somebody that is looking out for their own self-serving interests. Tell me a little bit about why you're supporting Justice Medina in this race.
Judge Link: I've known Justice Medina for several years. He and I served on the District Courts here in Harris County together. He was next door to me; as a matter of fact, our courtrooms were next door to one another. I've known him for several years. He's a very well-respected jurist. His opinions from the Supreme Court are well-reasoned. They follow law. He is not an activist. He's what we're looking for in the Republican Party.
Bob Price: That theme is exactly what I've heard from many other business leaders and judicial people around town. Whatever you want to quarrel about him, his rulings on the law are not one of the things you can pick on.
Judge Link: That's exactly right. He is well-respected, and I think people on both sides. I know the plaintiffs bar, the Republican bar, people that normally vote Democrat want to keep Justice Medina where he is for very good reasons in that he is fair and impartial; and I think when you talk to lawyers who have been practicing a very long time, that's really what they're looking for. They want someone that's fair and impartial and will follow the law. We all feel that once we go down to the courthouse, if we get someone that's fair, we're going to win. So that's why I think he's so popular, and that's why across the board, he's pretty much getting universal support from everyone.
Bob Price: We just want to remind everybody that the Primary is July 31st and early voting starts a week before that, so we want to encourage everyone to turn out and vote and not just in this race but all the run-off races that are important to the people of Texas.
Judge Link: Absolutely, and there are some that are very important for the people of Texas and obviously some here in Harris County.
Bob Price: Well thank you for your time this morning.
Judge Link: Thank you. It was good to talk to you.