On April Fools Day, Democratic Judge William “Bill” McLeod announced his intentions to run for his state’s highest office — the Supreme Court. This might not seem like a problem, but apparently in doing so, McLeod violated the state’s constitution. Now that he’s being asked to resign his current position, the judge has turned to his supporters to argue on his behalf.
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McLeod has served as a judge in Harris County Civil Court at Law Number Four in Texas since January, according to Fox News. With a stout group of supporters, McLeod felt he would have the backers to make a run for the Texas Supreme Court.
On April 1st, McLeod announced via Facebook his plans to run for a higher office. It wasn’t until a few days later that he was informed that he had essentially just forced himself to step down from his current position.
According to the state’s constitution, “If any of the officers named herein shall announce their candidacy, or shall in fact become a candidate, in any General, Special or Primary Election, for any office of profit or trust under the laws of this State or the United States other than the office then held, at any time when the unexpired term of the office then held shall exceed one year and 30 days, such announcement or such candidacy shall constitute an automatic resignation of the office then held, and the vacancy thereby created shall be filled pursuant to law in the same manner as other vacancies for such office are filled.”
This contingency would directly apply to a county judge as well. Bewildered by this turn of events, McLeon has tried to renege on his announcement, but it may already be too late. McLeon posted on Facebook to rally his supporters to speak on his behalf.
“There has been a discussion and a issue with a potential violation … with the Texas Constitution, and I am in dire need of people’s support,” he explained. He continued in the post to assert that County Attorney Vince Ryan “is trying to throw me off my bench because of this potential violation.”
According to KHOU, a meeting will take place Tuesday with the county commissioner to discuss the matter. His supporters are already indicating that they will attend and offer support. One supporter seems to feel that this should be a non-issue, stating that this “would not be the first time that a judge has made a mistake.”
Whatever the outcome, the question must be asked: How does a judge not know his own state’s constitution?