Brett Busby, appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to fill a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court, attends his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas. Barely three months after Texas Democrats showed signs of cracking Republican dominance in Texas elections, Abbott is using the power of his office to stem that tide by appointing Republican judges who had been rejected by voters to new positions on the bench. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas governor fills courts with GOP judges voters rejected

March 07, 2019 - 1:26 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott has quietly been stocking Texas courts with Republican judges freshly rejected by voters, employing one of the strongest powers of his office to stem the erosion of the GOP's decades-long dominance in the state.

In the three months since the worst election night for Texas Republicans in a generation, four of Abbott's last six judicial appointments to fill court vacancies have been former Republican judges who lost their 2018 races. One was elevated to the Texas Supreme Court just weeks after being voted out of a lower court in Houston.

Democrats have complained the governor is thumbing his nose at voters. Abbott's office has called the election results "immaterial" and that judges are nominated on the merits of their judicial record.

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