3rd Court of Appeals Chief Justice Woodie Jones (pictured) says he won’t seek re-election when his term ends in 2014.
“It was a difficult decision because I do love the job, but there were just too many factors weighing the other direction. It has definitely been the high point of my professional career to have had this opportunity,” says Jones, who served on the court from 1988 to 2000 and then again starting in 2009. Jones says he plans to practice appellate law again, but he hasn’t decided if he’ll be a solo or join a firm.
Jones says he’s seen technological and political changes at the 3rd Court during his tenure.
“When I started in ’88, as I recall, the court was just getting their initial computers,” Jones says.
Now, it’s transitioned to almost complete electronic filing of court documents.
“When I was first on the court in ’88 there were all Democrats. There were no Republicans,” he explains. “Now, I’m the only Democrat on the court. So, that’s a change.”
During his years as a justice, he says he only occasionally saw another justice whose partisan nature made Jones question whether politics influenced a decision. In general, he thinks partisanship doesn’t play a role in justices’ work.
He notes that the 3rd Court is “very collegial” right now.
“There was a time in the last 10 or 12 years where this particular court was not as collegial as it is now,” explains Jones. “I think we’ve come back to a group of people who are able to disagree without being disagreeable.”
The top spot at the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio is also up for grabs in 2014.
— Angela Morris