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Kinsella for Judge

A couple years ago the Texas LP convinced me to run for judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (see below).

There was a pretty funny interview that came out of it, in LightReading, an optics industry magazine (pasted below, as the link died):

N. Stephan Kinsella
General Counsel & VP of Intellectual Property
Applied Optoelectronics Inc. (AOI)

[Editor’s note: In the recent election, Stephan Kinsella was one of nine candidates vying for three judgeships on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He barely missed the judgeship by a scant 2.4 million votes.]

Phil Harvey: Senior Editor, Light Reading: Are you glad the elections are over?

Stephan Kinsella: Yes, so I can get back to my job of helping AOI make the world’s best transmitter lasers for the analog cable television, wireless repeater, and telecom markets.

PH: Was this the first time you had ever run for public office?

SK: Yes, that I know of. And hopefully the last.

PH: What did you like most and least about this election?

SK: On the plus side, my wife thought I was some kind of celebrity for a few days, and kept calling me “Judge.” On the negative side, I didn’t like that the Libertarians had such a low chance of winning. I take comfort in blaming it on the populace. As the saying goes, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

PH: Ah, so you ran on the Libertarian ticket. I’m not too familiar with the party. They aren’t the ones with the white robes and hoods are they?

SK: That’s pretty funny. I’m glad to see you’re regaining your sense of humor after that terrible kiddie porn incident.

PH: Let me try another approach. You must have a pretty thick skin to run as a third party in Texas. How extensively and aggressively did you campaign? Did you do any live debates or just the normal sign-in-the-yard kind of stuff?

SK: I think I spent 2 cents total, for the paper used to fax something to the election commission. As for the extent of my campaigning, when friends and colleagues told me they would vote for me, I did my best to refrain from uttering my favorite aphorism, “Don’t vote. It only encourages them.” I’m starting to think I’m not cut out for politickin’.

PH: What was your most memorable campaigning experience?

SK: When a reporter asked me if the term for Judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals was four or six years, and I didn’t know the answer.

PH: Who’s your all-time favorite politician?

SK: My favorite is President William Henry Harrison, who caught pneumonia during his inauguration speech and died one month later. Among the living, however, my favorite is surely Congressman Ron Paul, the “Conscience of the Congress.”

PH: Where did you watch the election results? Did you have a victory party planned? If it were me, I would have made up a drinking game around the returns — like “Lose a Precinct, Take a Shot.”

SK: If I had done that, I don’t think I’d be awake yet… What’s a precinct, by the way?

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

***

See also Kinsella for Judge:

From Challengers hope to beat three incumbent judges, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 20, 2002:

Three incumbent Republicans are being challenged in their bids for re-election to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest appellate court for criminal cases.

[…]In Place 1, incumbent Tom Price faces Democrat John W. Bull, Libertarian Stephan Kinsella and Green Party nominee Robert C. “Rob” Owen.

[…] Kinsella, a Houston attorney, said there should be no hesitancy by appeals judges to overturn unconstitutional laws. He said the current court often “sides with the state because it’s run by mainstream (political party) judges.”

From Court candidates could steer path of criminal justice: 3 posts contested on court weighing life or death decisions, Dallas Morning News:

The Place 1 race pits incumbent Judge Tom Price against Democratic Municipal Court Judge John W. Bull of San Antonio. Also on the Place 1 ballot are Libertarian candidate Stephan Kinsella and Green Party candidate Robert C. Owen.

Judge Price said he didn’t want to lose a close race between the two major parties because of votes going to third-party candidates. He is focusing his efforts on personal appearances and direct mailings to those on voting lists from the Green Party and the Libertarians.

***

Stephan Kinsella: for Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 2002

I am running, on the Libertarian Party ticket, for Place 1, Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, in the upcoming (November 5, 2002) election. The LP advocates both economic and personal liberties, and very small government.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest Texas state court for the appeal of criminal matters. Criminal law is crucial because it is where the rubber hits the road, from a libertarian perspective–it’s how the state ultimately enforces its laws.

The LP needs at least 4% of the vote for at least one statewide candidate to maintain ballot access in Texas. The statewide judge positions sometimes achieve this, and then some. For example, in the 2000 election (click here for historical election returns), the Libertarian candidate for Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Rife Scott Kimler, ran against Republicant Charles Holcomb (no Democrat or other candidate ran). Kimler received 15.5 % of the vote, or 704,237 votes, to Holcomb’s 3,824,312 (84.44%). Also, Libertarian candidates in the 2000 election for three positions on the Texas Supreme Court, running against Republican incumbents (no Democrat running), obtained 9.7%, 15.73%, and 18.66% of the vote.

Recent Press

Links/Further Info

Texas LP Candidate/Election Info
Texas Secretary of State Candidate/Election Info
Job profile: Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, from The Houston Chronicle
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals info
League of Women Voters–DemocracyNet: DNet Texas
DNet Texas: Court of Criminal Appeals, Pl. 1

Stephan Kinsella Bio

Final Results of 2002 General Election

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 1
Candidate

Tom Price [R, Richardson]
John W. Bull [D, San Antonio]
Stephan Kinsella [L, Houston]
Robert C. [Rob] Owen [Green, Austin]
Race Total

Votes

2,493,440
1,692,773
71,422
66,437
4,324,072

% Votes

57.66%
39.14%
1.65%
1.53%

Results of the 2002 Judicial Preference Poll Results, Houston Bar Association

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 1
Candidate

John W. Bull [D, San Antonio]
Stephan Kinsella [L, Houston]
Robert C. [Rob] Owen [Green, Austin]
Tom Price [R, Richardson]

Num Responses

129
44
93
574

% of Total Responses

15.4%
5.2%
11.1%
68.3%

Results of the 2002 General Election Poll, Dallas Bar Association

(Released 05/15/02)

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 1
Candidate

John W. Bull [D, San Antonio]
Stephan Kinsella [L, Houston]
Robert C. [Rob] Owen [Green, Austin]
Tom Price [R, Richardson]

Num Responses

143
55
88
889

% of Total Responses

12.2%
4.7%
7.5%
75.7%

Results of the 2002 Judicial Poll, State Bar of Texas

(Released 02/13/02)

Place 1, Judge–Full Term, The Court of Criminal Appeals
Candidate Name

John W. Bull (D), San Antonio
Carolyn Denero (R), Austin
Stephan Kinsella, Houston
Robert C. (Rob) Owen (Green), Austin
Tom Price (R), Richardson
Tim Taft (R), Houston

Vote sums

1358
1257
404
685
2038
1584

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • PeaceRequiresAnarchy November 10, 2012, 6:47 pm

    “PH: Who’s your all-time favorite politician?

    “SK: My favorite is President William Henry Harrison, who caught pneumonia during his inauguration speech and died one month later.”

    :-)

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