Judge Susan Criss

AUSTIN -- The expected Democratic battle between two of the Lone Star State's leading female judges to challenge Republican Justice Phil Johnson for re-election to the Texas Supreme Court is officially on.

Judge Susan Criss of the 212th district court in Galveston County formally announced her candidacy recently for Johnson's Place 8 on the Supreme Court. Legal News Line first reported in May that Criss had expressed interest in running against Johnson on next year's ballot.

She faces a tough intra-party foe in Linda Yanez, a senior judge on the Texas 13th Circuit Court of Appeal who declared her candidacy three months ago, LNL also reported.

Yanez launched her on-line campaign with a stinging attack on the current Texas Supreme Court and some of its controversial recent decisions, which some lawyers say are too pro-corporate.

"One party rule has once again bred arrogance, group-think, and allowed the pay-for-play politics that favors insurance companies and large firms to go unchecked," she stated.

Criss, known as "the blogging judge," also came out swinging at the Supreme Court incumbents with her announcement Dec.17.

"Republican control of our state's highest civil court has put the average Texan's constitutional right to a trial by jury at risk," she stated.

"This Republican-dominated court has consistently favored wealthy corporations and insurance companies, and has made life for everyday working Texans more dangerous."

Primary elections for the vote will be held on Jan. 2, 2008, while the election is scheduled for March 3.

Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson and Justice Dale Wainwright are also up for re-election.

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