Brother campaigns for Army soldier running for Court of Appeals seat
May 13, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.
13th Court of Appeals
• Composed of a Chief Justice and five justices;
• Has intermediate appellate jurisdiction appealed from lower courts
• Hears civil cases where the judgment exceeds $100 and criminal cases, except in post-conviction writs of habeas corpus and where the death penalty has been imposed and appealed from lower courts.
Tomas Tijerina may be answering all the questions, but come May 29, his brother, Jaime Tijerina, will be the one on the ballot.
Lt. Col. Tijerina was called to Afghanistan at the start of his campaign for office.
He is running against Bradford Condit, a Portland attorney, for the Republican Party nomination for justice Place 4 on the 13th Court of Appeals.
Because of Department of Defense rules, Tijerina is unable to campaign for himself.
Tomas Tijerina said "what you see is what you get" when it comes to his brother. He puts life, liberty and happiness at the forefont, Tomas said.
In civilian life, Jaime Tijerina has been the county attorney in Kenedy County for the past 11 years.
He is seeking the office because he "wants to fix" the court, his brother said.
"It's the most overturned court in the state," Tomas said. "The justices are known for inventing the law, not following it."
The 13th Court of Appeals, one of 14 appellate courts in Texas, serves 20 counties including Victoria, DeWitt, Calhoun, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Refugio, Wharton and Matagorda.
The frequent overturns and reversals end up being "a disservice to the people who have to count on the Supreme Court to fix what the appeals court has done," said Tijerina's campaign manager John Coppedge.
Jaime Tijerina's experience serving as a county attorney, and in the Judge Advocate Corps. overseas, has him familiar with well-established laws and precedents, his brother said.
"He has the background and the temperament to be a judge," Tomas said. "He's seen, in another part of the world, the administration of justice and the lack thereof."
Because of that, Jaime Tijerina would protect those rights here, Tomas says of his brother.
"Judges can take your money, your property, your children and your life," he said. "There is a lot of importance placed on them that's neglected."