Overview of Donna Davidson’s Judicial Philosophy
I am a conservative who believes in the rule of law, judicial restraint, and the strict interpretation of the Texas and United States Constitutions.
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
President Ronald Reagan
As a conservative, I believe the foundation of western jurisprudence is deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian principles. The Mosaic Law set in motion a complete understanding of human nature and how we relate to each other and to God. It is from this understanding that our morals, ethics and laws are conserved.
Rule of Law
“The court makes an amazing amount of decisions that ought to be made by the people.”
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Our system of written laws captures the enduring nature of these conservative principles and implements them. The rule of law holds that these laws have value because they are built upon solid principles and reasoning and are worth conserving. The rule of law encapsulates the basic nature of our customs, habits, values, morals and laws that we value as a culture and society.
The Founding Fathers built upon this understanding of the rule of law in the creation of the modern American state. As a republic, the United States is to be ruled by laws and not by individuals, be they benevolent kings or terrible tyrants. In a sense, the law is king, which is why the Founders were so precise and intentional in creating a governmental structure in the constitution to produce, promulgate and protect the law, through three branches of government with competing interests that check and balance the power of the other two.
Laws are to be written and produced by the legislature, executed and carried out by the governor or president, and interpreted or applied by the judiciary. Belief in the rule of law strictly prohibits the creation of laws by fiat or outside of this chain of checks and balances.
“Whatever may be the best form of government, government by majority vote of nine electorally unaccountable lawyers pretending to be enforcing the Constitution must be one of the worst.”
University of Texas Law Professor Lino Graglia
The basic constitutional flow in the creation of law is from the people through the congress or legislature, applied by the executive and interpreted by the judiciary if there is any discrepancy. There are times when this basic constitutional pattern is ignored and law is created by fiat. This can happen by activist judges imposing their own will on the people or by unelected governmental agency bureaucrats expanding the powers of the administrative state.
Unfortunately, that basic flow is reversed when activist judges or over zealous bureaucrats rule by edict, creating new laws by fiat, forcing the legislature or executive agencies to enact or carryout laws that are clearly not an expression of the will of the people. Any instantaneous, impetuous, or impulsive rulings from the courts or governmental agencies clearly violate the rule of law. Our constitution prescribes specific ways for laws to be proposed, changed and amended. It is not the duty of the judiciary to write new laws. It is the duty of the judiciary to fairly interpret the laws as written by the legislature and to restrain their efforts to the words of the text.
There is a role for interpretation by the judiciary. Occasionally, the meaning of a law is unclear or its application in a specific instance may or may not be appropriate. It is the function of the judiciary to read the law and apply it to the case at hand. But the court should not go beyond the law as it is written.
Behind the text of the written law is a long chain of constitutional actions and reactions, starting with the will of the people as expressed in electing their representatives and then following through the prescribed constitutional process for producing the law. Each step in the process is purposeful and reflects a commitment to the rule of law and order.
Any judge or justice who places personal views and opinions above the text of the law produced by this constitutional process clearly subverts the will of the people and further reduces the republic from a government based on the rule of law to a government based on rule by a judicial king or tyrant. As an organic expression of the will of the people, the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Texas are the supreme law because they are the creation of a free and sovereign people.
I am a candidate for the Third Court of Appeals, Place 6. The Third Court of Appeals is an intermediate level appellate court between district courts and the Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.
If you believe in the rule of law, judicial restraint, and strict interpretation of the law, I ask for your vote in the May 22, 2018, Republican primary runoff.
In compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.
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