OCT STATEMENT ON JUDICIAL ACTIVISM

Judicial-ActivismTemple, TX, January 14, 2018– Open Carry Texas is an issues-based advocacy organization and, as such, does not endorse candidates for public office. It does advocate for the Second Amendment Rights of Texans and provides information, as appropriate, for the consideration of voters about the positions of candidates for office so that they may make informed decisions when casting their ballots.

It has been brought to the attention of Open Carry Texas that a candidate for the 322nd District Court position has, in a prior judicial capacity, engaged in judicial activism, issuing orders not requested by either party to the litigation and unsupported by evidence of record.

The specific case involved a Michael Keith Ives, a party to divorce proceedings in Judge James Munford’s Family Court. The court order, issued on the Court’s own initiative, without motion by either party or supporting evidence, prohibited Mr. Ives from possessing or using firearms. Mr. Ives is an avid hunter and the order had the effect of preventing him from participating in that activity. He was also prohibited from otherwise possessing firearms even though there was no evidence supporting a conclusion that Mr. Ives had in any way used or threatened the use of violence or firearms in any way against his spouse or children or would otherwise justify such an order. That order was overturned in subsequent judicial proceedings.

Judicial activism such as this has a substantial chilling effect upon the rights of other litigants and casts doubt on the impartiality of the judiciary. Open Carry Texas supports the rule of law and urges voters who share those concerns to carefully evaluate the record of candidates for office, not merely their claims, especially those which merely claim to support the Second Amendment.

It appears that Judge Munford has issued other unsolicited orders involving parents’ rights to discipline children as is permissible under state law.

Judge Munford’s opponent in the Republican Primary for the 322nd District Court Judgeship is Jennifer Moore, the attorney who represented Mr. Ives, and fought for his Second Amendment Rights. On her campaign website she pledges to render fair and consistent verdicts consistent with the law, exercise Judicial Restraint and Oppose Judicial Activism, respect and protect the First and Second Amendments.

Open Carry Texas submits these issues for consideration when deciding on a candidate for the 322nd District Court position.

About Open Carry Texas: Our purpose is to 1) educate all Texans about their right to carry in a safe manner; 2) to condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry them; 3) encourage our elected officials to pass constitutional carry legislation for all firearms; and 4) foster a cooperative relationship with local law enforcement in the furtherance of these goals with an eye towards preventing negative encounters.

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