Texas SC justice says she won't seek reelection

Kathy Woods Aug. 12, 2009, 5:32pm

Harriet O'Neill


DALLAS (Legal Newsline)-Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill says she will not to seek re-election once her term expires in 2010.

O'Neill, the only female serving in the Texas Supreme Court, has said she has not decided what she might do next but, there is speculation that she may make a run for Texas attorney general.

"If the seat was to come open, I might look at it, but it is not on my radar. I have no intent to run for that seat at this time," she was quoted as saying.

O'Neill has served nearly 18 years on the bench, including in the state's district court system, court of appeals and the Supreme Court of Texas.

O'Neill was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1998 and re-elected to a second term in 2004.

She is a founding member of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, a foundation that benefits low-income families. She also played a critical role in the creation of the Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission for Children and Youth and Families, to enhance resources through the court and improve out comes for children placed in the court system due to neglect or abuse.

"I am proud to have served with men and women of the highest integrity. I applaud Chief Justice Jefferson's remarkable vision and outstanding leadership," she said in a statement.

She also states that she has always viewed her role as "interpreting and applying the law as written, rather than making the law," as so-called activist judges do.

"I have worked hard to render timely decisions that, though often legally or factually complex, are readily understandable to the people of Texas," she said.

Justice Jim Moseley of the 5th Texas Court of Appeals in Dallas said he will run in the GOP primary for O'Neill's seat.

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