TEX. SUPREME CT. JUSTICE JOHN DEVINE – LONE VOTE FOR REPUBS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

Jul 13, 2020 by

Supreme Court candidate John Devine's Divine Intervention

“Tex. Supreme Court Justice John Devine – Lone Vote for Republicans’ Constitutional Rights”

by Donna Garner

7.13.20

Today Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine was the only Justice who dissented to this outrageous decision to shut down the Texas Republican Party’s state convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. 

Democrat Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has violated and disenfranchised the Constitutional rights of every Republican in Texas by waiting until the last minute to object to the RPT’s state convention from being held at the Convention Center.  RPT committee members were set to start their meetings today with the full convention to start July 16. 

Mayor Turner raised no such COVID-19 health concerns when the rioters and protesters were in close proximity to one another and were even sharing each other’s megaphones.

The RPT had put many COVID-19 procedures in place to make sure social distancing and other precautionary measures were followed this week.  Because the George R. Brown Convention Center is a massive complex, there was going to be plenty of room for such measures to be enacted.

I wish to say “thank you” to Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine for writing his 11-page dissent which clearly explains that the Texas Supreme Court does have jurisdiction over civil matters that impact the rights of every Texas citizen.

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In the Supreme Court of Texas – No. 20-0525 – Republican Party of Texas – Justice John Devine – Dissenting To Denying RPT’s Petition —  https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1448817/200525d.pdf

Excerpts from Justice Devine’s dissent:

“Under section 273.061 of the Texas Election Code, we have the power to “issue a writ of mandamus to compel the performance of any duty imposed by law in connection with the holding of an election or a political party convention . . . The Republican Party asks that we do precisely what the statute permits: compel Houston First and the other defendants to comply with their legal obligation of hosting the convention…

Because the Election Code gives us the authority to compel performance of contractual duties in connection with the holding of a political party convention, the next question is whether Houston First has breached its contract with the Republican Party…

Either party may terminate this Agreement or suspend its obligation thereunder due to Force Majeure to the extent that such occurrence is beyond the reasonable control of the party whose performance is effected on such affected party’s giving notice and full particulars to the other party of such Force Majeure as soon as practicable, but no later than 7 calendar days after the occurrence of the cause relied upon…

In other words, the parties agreed that, in the event of a force-majeure occurrence, the performing party could cancel its obligation so long as it gave the other party notice within 7 days of the forcemajeure occurrence relied upon by the canceling party.

… The City, in other words, cannot merely label its failure a contractual one to escape our jurisdiction. Republican Party to host a safe convention, Houston First invoked this clause on July 8th….First, the force-majeure clause contemplates that an “occurrence” take place. By its very nature, an “occurrence” is a distinct, objective event.  Thus, to invoke the clause, a party needs to be able to point to a distinct, objective event that triggers the clause’s applicability, and then, “no later than 7 calendar days after the occurrence,” give the other party notice of the cause.

Looking at Houston First’s invocation of the clause in this context, it’s unclear what specific event it relies on. The coronavirus pandemic has been an ongoing public-health concern.

As the U.S. Supreme Court has said, the Constitution “confers on political parties [the right] to structure their internal party processes and to select the candidate of the party’s choosing.”  And at this convention, of course, the Republican Party will choose its presidential electors. With the nation’s highest office at stake, we are not in a position to question how party leaders desire to run this important business.

In sum, I would not allow Houston First to put its contractual obligations second. Exercising our mandamus jurisdiction here to compel Houston First and the other defendants to host the Republican Party’s convention is not only appropriate—but necessary—to preserve the sanctity of contract and our elections.

Today the Court errs by refusing to uphold these values. And this refusal, I’m afraid, will have ripple effects far beyond this misguided jurisdictional punt. I respectfully dissent. – Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine

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