There actually was a King Floyd -- at least three of them, in fact. King Floyd III was a soul singer from New Orleans who tried to launch his music career in Los Angeles in the late 1960s after a stint in the Army. Having less success than he’d hoped for out in La La Land, he returned to his hometown and got a job at the Post Office.
One Sunday, before an afternoon shift of letter-sorting, he drove up to Jackson and recorded a couple of tunes. Within a year, he had a million-selling record, hitting the Top Ten with a funky B-side song called “Groove Me.”
Our homegrown version of “King Floyd” is even funkier.
His first name is Donald and he’s a district court judge in Jefferson County, but he does have the imperious manner of a king and seems to believe he is answerable to no one – and is empowered to redefine words and make them mean whatever he pleases.
When jurors concluded in 2008 that DuPont De Nemours was not responsible for the death of a former employee from mesothelioma, plaintiffs attorney Glen Morgan moved for a new trial and “King Floyd” obliged. A year later, the Texas State Supreme Court ordered Floyd to explain his decision. He has yet to do so. The case remains unresolved.
Morgan’s firm was a big donor to Floyd who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. He faces opposition in the general election this year.
“King Floyd” appears to have contempt for our State Supreme Court. This past February, he declared, for a second time, that the Denbury Green pipeline is a common carrier with the power of eminent domain. This, despite the fact that the Texas Supreme Court had overturned his first declaration.
Floyd filed his order in mid-February, but counselors only became aware of it when they arrived for a status conference five weeks later.
Maybe Floyd is a king. Any district court judge who can repeatedly thumb his nose at our state’s highest court and get away with it must be somebody special.