Scott Walker (Texas)

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Richard Scott Walker

Place 5 Judge of the
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 2017
Preceded by Cheryl Johnson

Born 1953
Borger, Hutchinson County
Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Pamela Walker (married c. 1974)
Children Tiki Walker Smith

Brian Keith Walker

Residence Fort Worth, Texas
Alma mater Red Oak High School

Dallas Baptist University
Baylor University School of Law

Religion Evangelical Christian
For the governor of Wisconsin, see Scott Walker.

Richard Scott Walker, known as Scott Walker (born 1953), is one of the nine justices, all of whom are Republicans, who sit on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Walker represents Place 5. A former criminal defense attorney from Fort Worth, Walker won his party's runoff race in 2016 in a low-turnout contest against Brent Webster, an assistant district attorney for Williamson County near Austin.

The judgeship was vacated by the retiring Republican Cheryl Johnson. Some questioned whether Walker's victory was based on his familiar name, the same as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, an unsuccessful candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination. Walker, however, said that his nomination came through his vigorous campaign efforts, not his catchy name.[1]

Walker graduated in 1971 from Red Oak High School in Red Oak in Ellis County south of Dallas, where his mother, Ina Walker, was for a quarter century the school secretary. He graduated with honors from Dallas Baptist University and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the Southern Baptist-affiliated Baylor University School of Law in Waco, Texas.[2] Before his ascent to judge, Walker's law practice consisted of civil defense, veteran's disability, criminal litigation, and appellate advocacy. He penned more than a hundred appellate briefs and participated in more than forty trials in district courts across North Texas. Walker and his wife, Pamela, were both born in Borger in Hutchinson County in the Texas Panhandle but never met there though they lived in the same neighborhood. They met and eventually married while living with their families in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, again in the same neighborhood. Mrs. Walker also graduated from Red Oak High School.[3] The Walkers' son, Brian Keith Walker (born c. 1977), is also an attorney who narrowly lost a Republican bid for the Texas House of Representatives and served as his father's campaign manager in the judicial race.[4] The Walkers' daughter, Tiki Walker Smith, teaches English at Waxahachie Global High School in Waxahachie in Ellis County.[2]

In the runoff contest, Walker prevailed over Webster, 207,195 (58 percent) to 150,722 (42 percent).[1] He then overwhelmed Betsy Johnson, the Democratic choice in the general election, 4,782,144 (54.8 percent) to 3,511,850 (40.2 percent).[5]

The highest criminal court in Texas, the Court of Criminal Appeals determines the outcome all death penalty cases in the state. It recently dismissed the abuse-of-power charge against former Governor Rick Perry. Despite the importance of the court, candidates seeking the nine positions have had difficulty establishing name recognition. That fact led to discussion about whether Judge Walker's famous name gave him the advantage.[1] 

Mary Lou Keel, a former district judge in Houston, was elected to the appeals court at the same time as Walker.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Madlin Mekelburg (May 24, 2016). Scott Walker - No, Not that One - Wins Court of Criminal Appeals Runoff. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Melaine Petersen. ROHS Alumni Scott Walker sworn in as Texas State Judge. Red Oak Record. Retrieved on October 7, 2017.
  3. Scott Walker for Court of Criminal Appeals - Place 5. Scottwalkerforjudge.com. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  4. Scott Walker for Judge. Facebook. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  5. Official Results. Texas Secretary of State (November 8, 2016). Retrieved on October 6, 2017.