For Immediate Release: Contact: Steve Smith
December 6, 2011 Phone: (979) 324-2513
BRYAN, TX – Republican Judge Steve Smith formalized his candidacy for Chief Justice of the 10th Court of Appeals today by filing the paperwork required to appear on the March 6th Republican Primary ballot against incumbent Tom Gray. Smith is currently the presiding judge of the 361st District Court in Brazos County. He said his 17 years of experience as a trial judge has prepared him to lead at the appellate level.
“The courtroom is no place for judges who want to write or apply the law to conform to their personal or political beliefs,” Smith said. “We need true conservative judges who will create courtrooms with a level playing field where everyone is treated equally and with respect. Each case must be decided based on its merits alone. That’s the way I run my courtroom and that is what I will bring to the 10th Court of Appeals if elected.”
Smith went on to say that he believes Gray lacks the judicial temperament needed inside and outside of the courtroom and that he has lost the faith and confidence of the public.
“Justice Gray has been publicly admonished by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for lapses in judgment, including the entering and searching through of the other justices’ private offices without their knowledge or permission; he violated Reagan’s 11th Commandment by repeatedly criticizing another Republican judge; he was rebuked by the editorial board of The Bryan/College Station Eagle, and he was called on to resign by the editorial board of the Waco Tribune Herald,” Smith continued. “As judges, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. Even the appearance of impropriety is unacceptable because it undermines public confidence in an impartial judiciary.”
Smith has had a long and distinguished legal career including service as a municipal judge, county court at law judge, and as an attorney in private practice in addition to his current service as a district judge. He has served as the Chair of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, and he is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction held by only 1.5% of all attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Texas.
Smith is also active in the arena of legal education and community service. He is a faculty member at the Texas Center for the Judiciary and he is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Blinn College in Bryan. He has also held various leadership roles in the Optimist Club, March of Dimes, the Brazos Valley Symphony, and Crimestoppers organizations in addition to serving on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Abilene Christian University.
Smith and his wife, Becky, were married for over 26 years before she passed away from cancer in 2005. He has two grown children; Christopher, 27, is the president of a technology consulting firm in Abilene, and Laura, 24, is in her second year of law school at the University of Virginia.
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