DISABILITY ISSUES QUESTIONNAIRE FOR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES
– – Compiled by a volunteer caucus of Citizens with Disabilities We have attempted to ask questions that would not cause a judicial candidate to engage in inappropriate political activity as defined by Canon 5 the Code of Judicial Conduct, and have tried to frame our questions in a way that would not elicit pledges or promises of conduct regarding pending or impending cases.
If applicable, please provide information for the following: Degrees earned and the names of the Colleges or Universities awarding them. Professional Licenses awarded and the names of the grantors. State Bar License Number Name of Law School and Graduation Date Bar Admissions and Courts of Admittance Date Admitted to Practice Have you ever been charged, convicted, placed on probation or granted any kind of deferred adjudication or pretrial diversion for any violation of the law in any jurisdiction?
1. Please briefly describe what you believe are the duties of the office sought. 2. What are the most important strengths and personality traits you would bring to the bench?
CANDIDATE CAMPAIGN, CIVIC, AND POLITICAL EXPERIENCE
3. Please briefly describe your political and government experience. This may include any formal training or experience as a volunteer, staffer, candidate, administrator, or office holder. 4. If you are member of any local, state, or national organizations or committees that focus on individuals with disabilities, including mental health conditions, please identify the organization(s). Please tell us why if not.
5. What community organizations are you a member of? 6. What leadership positions have you held in those organizations, and for how long did you hold those positions? 7. What organizational endorsements have you received so far? 8. Have you ever expressed public support for any individual or organization that has been known to discriminate against the disability community or who supports violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Olmstead Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and / or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or who opposes community integration for people with disabilities (access to support services, opportunities for participation in schools, careers, homes, relationships, activities), Medicaid expansion, and / or equality of opportunity for the disability community? 9. If you answered yes, please explain any public support given for an individual or organization as listed above and include the name of the individual(s) or organization(s). 10. Would you accept an endorsement from an organization or person who is recognized as being in opposition of fulfillment of the ADA, the Olmstead Act, IDEA, and / or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, expansion of Medicaid, or equality of opportunity for the disability community?
KNOWLEDGE OF DISABILITY RIGHTS ISSUES
11. Why are you interested in Disability Issues ? 12. What experiences have you had in your personal, professional, or civic life that demonstrate your awareness of barriers that may deny people with disabilities full, meaningful, and effective access to every aspect of the legal process, and all other areas of life? 13. What efforts have you made or supported to guarantee individuals with disabilities, including mental health conditions, full and equal access to justice, legal representation, education, public accommodations, government services, voting, online resources, or other aspects of life, including in your own practice? 14. Have you ever represented a client who is an individual with disabilities, including mental health conditions, or handled a case in which a client’s disability or mental health condition was a substantial issue? 15. If yes, without violating any privileges, please describe the nature of the representation. 16. Are there any individuals with disabilities, including mental health conditions employed in your practice or place of employment? 17. Do you provide appropriate accommodations to clients upon request?
EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE
18. If elected, what do you understand to be the responsibilities of a judge in regard to providing full access without discrimination to your courtroom and the judicial process for individuals with disabilities, including mental health conditions, as well as to lawyers, litigants, witnesses, and their families, jurors, experts, court employees, and the public, and would you provide accommodations such as sign language interpreters and CART? In your answer, please refer to Canon 3 of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.
19. What weight does the law and code of judicial ethics require be given to individuals with disabilities, including mental health conditions, who are defendants or victims in setting bond, voir dire, trial, sentencing, and setting conditions of confinement? 20. Is there any basis in law for detaining or searching an individual because they simply state in public that they have a disability and/or mental health condition?
21. What do you see as the pros and cons of the current disclosure and discovery process for civil cases? 22. To your knowledge, what are some current barriers to ensuring the availability of legal representation to individuals with disabilities including mental health conditions?
KNOWLEDGE OF LAW AND CASE LAW
Please pick five cases that most closely connect to the court you hope to be elected to and briefly discuss the holdings of the following laws and cases and their relevance to the disability community:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) including Title II and Title III Requirements For Modifications
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Olmstead v. L.C. ex rel. Zimring 527 – U.S. 581 (1999) Steward v. Abbott Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, #15-827 (10th Cir. 2017) Moore vs. Texas # 15–797 U.S. 581 (2017)
Graham vs. Connor # 87-6571 U.S. 490 / 386 (1989) Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools # 15-497 U.S. 580 (2017)
Tennessee vs. Lane # 02-1667 U.S. 541 / 509 (2004) # 5:10-cv-1025-OLG 189 F. Supp. 3d 620 (W.D. Tex. 2016)
Guckenburger v. Boston University # 974 U.S. 106 (1997)