Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 6

Richard Davis
Michael E. Keasler

TPP endorses Michael Keasler

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This is a race between a solid, experienced, conservative incumbent, with a demonstrated record of a strong work ethic and judicial wisdom and restraint, and a relatively unknown and seemingly underqualified opponent, whose primary basis for challenging Judge Keasler appears to be the Judge’s age.  While it is true that if re-elected constitutional age limits will force Judge Keasler to retire before the end of his term, this is not a compelling reason to elect a candidate who has failed to make any case for why he is qualified to sit on Texas’ criminal court of last resort.  There is absolutely no question that Judge Keasler is the only qualified candidate in this race.  For full disclosure, Mr. Davis did not participate in our vetting process as we could not find any contact information and he did not reach out to us.


Judge Michael Keasler was first elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1998 after having served as the judge of Dallas County’s 292 District Court for 17 years.  Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Keasler worked for 12 years with the Dallas County District Attorney where he was the Senior Felony Chief Prosecutor and participated in over 400 felony jury trials. He spent the first two years of his career in private practice.  In all, Judge Keasler has over 48 years of significant criminal law experience.

Judge Keasler has lengthy list of accomplishments during his long and distinguished career.  One which may resonate with many of our readers is that Judge Keasler wrote the majority opinion in the Medellin case.  Medellin, which was one of the cases Ted Cruz successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, upheld Judge Keasler’s opinion that international treaties are not binding on state law unless Congress has enacted specific statues implementing them and that decisions by the International Court of Justice are not binding on state law without authority from Congress or the Constitution.


Little information is available about Richard Davis.  He does not have a website but does have a Facebook page which says Mr. Davis has practiced law for 33 years.  Mr. Davis claims to “have handled numerous complicated cases both civil and criminal” but, by providing no details on these cases, voters are left with no idea about the depth of Mr. Davis’ criminal law knowledge or whether he has any experience with death penalty cases.  One website suggests that he may be a former prosecutor, but we have not been able to independently verify this as fact.

Mr. Davis has unsuccessfully run in judicial elections twice before: in 2012 for District Court [possibly the 33rd in Burnet County] judge and in 2014 for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  At the time we reviewed Mr. Davis’ campaign in 2014, we could find no website or any indication that he was running a serious campaign.  This again appears to be the case in this election cycle.  

At a minimum, candidates have a responsibility to provide sufficient information to enable voters to make an informed decision on their qualifications for the position they are seeking.  Candidates who make no effort to do this are not worthy of consideration.  Mr. Davis is one such candidate.

Judge Keasler has been a strong contributor to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and deserves to be re-elected.  This is likely the reason he has not attracted any serious opponents in this election.