“Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine Cleared To Run on March 5, 2024 Ballot”

By Donna Garner

The Texas Supreme Court just issued a decision on whether or not Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine will be allowed to have his name on the March 5, 2024 ballot. 


Justice Divine recused himself, of course, from this decision by the Texas Supreme Court.  

Here is the link to the final decision dated today:  

In layman’s terms, Brian Walker deliberately delayed issuing his petition to keep Justice Devine off the ballot until the very last minute so that Justice Devine would not have time “to cure” (fix) the supposed problem.  

FACT:  Matt Rinaldi (as chair of the Republican Party of Texas) accepted Justice Devine’s primary ballot application on 12.1.23. 

FACT:  Brian Walker deliberately waited until 12.27.23 to file his application.  

Walker was the only one who could have known that there was a “purported” problem with the 18 signatures that were on both candidates’ petitions, but Walker waited until 12.27.23 before alerting anyone to the supposed problem.  

The exciting thing is that Justice Devine had 23 EXTRA signatures from the Eighth Court of Appeals District (El Paso), and he had collected that many extra signatures before the filing deadline. These 23 extra signatures “cured” (fixed) any possible problems raised by Brian Walker.  Case closed!

QUESTION:  Could this have been Brian Walker’s strategy -- to encourage signees deliberately to sign both petitions so that at the last minute Walker could raise the issue to try to keep from having to run against Justice Devine?  

If so, I think this may reveal that Brian Walker chose not to run a fair race because he is afraid of losing to Justice Devine who is known widely for his fair and studied decisions.

I am excited for March 5, 2024 to get here so that Justice John Devine can win this race fair and square.  

Excerpts from the decision: 

A judicial candidate [John Devine] filed a primary ballot application early in the filing period, paid the filing fee, and submitted a petition that facially included the number of signatures required by statute. See TEX. ELEC. CODE § 172.021(g). 

In this mandamus proceeding, relator [Brian Walker] asks us to compel the state party chair to reject the candidate’s application because some of the signatures are invalid and to withdraw the chair’s certification of the candidate to the Secretary of State for placement on the primary ballot. 

We deny relief because the relator's challenge to the signature petition was not brought promptly, and, even if it had been, our precedent requires that, under circumstances like these, the challenged candidate first be given an opportunity to cure a defect in his petition signatures. 

As we have long and consistently held, “[t]he public interest is best served when public offices are decided by fair and 2 vigorous elections, not technicalities leading to default.” In re Francis, 186 S.W.3d 534, 542 (Tex. 2006).

On November 14, 2023, real party in interest John Devine filed an application for a place on the 2024 Republican Party primary ballot, seeking re-election to the office of Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 4. 

Respondent Matt Rinaldi, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, accepted Devine’s application on December 1. 

Relator Brian Walker, currently Justice of the Second Court of Appeals, filed his application for a place on the ballot for the same office on December 4, and it was accepted by Chairman Rinaldi on December 14…

In this case, Devine filed his ballot application on November 14, 2023—almost as soon as the filing period opened—which left almost a month for further supplementation if needed. 

And Chairman Rinaldi accepted the filing on December 1, ten days before the filing deadline. Walker—the only person who could have known before the filing deadline about any problems with the eighteen signatures that apparently were on both candidates’ petitions—filed his application on December 4 and then waited until December 27—weeks after the deadline had passed—before alerting anyone to the purported problem.

…Because Walker’s challenge to Devine’s application could have—and should have—been urged while there was an opportunity for Devine to correct any deficiencies, we conclude that the principles of equity, as applied in mandamus, foreclose the Court’s ability to award relief. 

…But when a party slumbers on his rights—or, indeed, does not slumber but carefully lies in wait—these principles are not advanced but impaired.

…Here, Devine filed his application and petition three days after the filing period opened. 

And in response to Walker’s challenge, Devine provided twenty-three additional signatures from the Eighth Court of Appeals District, which he collected before the filing deadline and contends are non-duplicative and sufficient to cure the deficiencies relator alleges. 



1.9.24 – “Will Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine be on the March 5, 2024 Ballot?  -- by Donna Garner --

9.1.23 – “Texas Supreme Court Allows Ban on Gender-Transition Procedures for Minors To take Effect” -- By Brittany Bernstein -- 

1.1.23 -- “The Probable Gender Mutilation of James Younger” -- By Donna Garner --

5.28.22 -- “Supreme Court Justice John Devine Is Divine” -- By Donna Garner -- https://donnagarner.org/5-28-22-supreme-court-justice-john-devine-is-divine/

10.9.20 -- “Have Well-Meaning Texas Leaders Learned Anything from Their Mistakes?” -- By Donna Garner --