DALLAS – State Senator Royce West recently voiced his support for an independent judiciary in Texas and defended the right of all judges to do their jobs without fear of infringement by other branches of state government or threats from right-wing fringe groups.
West’s statements came after both Texas Governor Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump attacked Judge Eric V. Moyé, who presides over the 14th Civil District Court in Dallas County. Judge Moyé has recently been in the spotlight after a ruling he issued upheld the guidelines on COVID-19 related business closures that were issued by Governor Greg Abbott.
“What Governor Abbott and other Texas leaders like General Paxton and did was fundamentally wrong and dangerous. Our state constitution specifically spells out a separation of powers between the executive and judicial branches,” said West.
“Abbott himself gave the justice system enforcement guidelines, including jailing business owners who were non-compliant. After a salon owner repeatedly flaunted the law as part of a carefully planned right-wing publicity stunt, Judge Moyé did the right thing by holding this salon owner in contempt of court for refusing to follow Abbott’s own guidelines. But Abbott decided to earn political points with Trump supporters and the far right by subverting the rule of law and the justice system. It’s a dangerous precedent.”
Judge Moyé was attacked with racial slurs, received lynching and hanging threats, and had Tea Party protesters share his home address online and then protest in front of his home as a result of the ruling. Now, the salon owner, right-wing pundits and President Donald Trump are targeting Judge Moyé, who is up for re-election. Trump retweeted calls for Judge Moyé’s defeat.
“We are looking at a planned publicity stunt, a right-wing direct action maneuver that continues with Trump now involved. Right-wing protesters showed up outside Judge Moyé’s home. What is Governor Abbott going to do to keep the judge protected now that his and Paxton’s actions have put his life at risk? Will he protect her like he protected a salon owner,” West asked.
“My reaction is, if Trump wants to try to take out a good judge in my home county, I say bring it,” West added.